University of Maryland Extension

Browning of White Oaks in 2019

Browning of white oaks in a landscape
White oaks with brown foliage, September 2019
Image Credit: 
David Clement, UMD Extension

University of Maryland Extension CMREC, HGIC, and the UMD Plant Diagnostic Lab have received numerous reports of sudden discoloration of foliage and death of white oak (Quercus alba) trees throughout the Mid-Atlantic region in August through October of 2019.  We have visited sites with symptomatic trees, examined samples submitted to the UMD lab, and spoken with several arborists, landscapers, state and local forestry officials and landowners, in pursuit of information that might reveal a specific cause.  While our investigation is still in progress, we have determined some factors that these individual cases all have in common.

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