Northern Red Oak Tree - Summer Canopy Inventory - August 2023

Just a few days ago, I posted some photos showing a large amount (at least...it FEELS like a large amount) of Northern Red Oak acorns that are coming down in late July/early August this season.  

In that post, I mentioned that it was time to document in the [garden diary] an inventory of what the canopy of the tree-swing tree (Northern Red Oak) looks like in early August.

This tree was (I think) troubled and as a result, we started it on a course of treatment.  That included the application of a three-year growth regulator.  And, annual applications of a deep-root fertilizer and of some Two-Lined Chestnut borer treatment.   We've now done three-years of treatments on the tree.

The growth regulator appeared to help and the tree seemed to have a different outlook after just one year.   I've been trying to document the canopy of the tree over the years - the last time was in Fall of 2022 when it was turning orange and brown.   The tree has (it appears to the eye) put on new, small branching growth each season.  There are plenty of dead tips and limbs, but some of them I have noticed for years.  What I am uncertain of is whether the dieback has grown.  Again...by my naked eye, I don't think it has.  

What does it look like today?  See below for a photo showing the mid-Summer form:


The very best comparison that I can make is for us to take a look back at this photo from Summer 2018.  Back in 2018, the tree was sparse.  Today, it appears much more full.

A few areas of note:  first the core trunk, right where the limbs start. 

Here's what that area looked like in Summer 2018 below.  Quite a bit of trunk is showing and the limbs have short branching on them:

Northern Red Oak Tree in 2018.  Sparse and little new growth.

Five years later, what does that same section of Northern Red Oak tree look like?  See below for a zoomed in area of the tree showing green, glossy foliage covering almost ALL of the trunk and limbs.

The same Northern Red Oak in Summer 2023.  Covered with green foliage.

Seems to be a very positive path, right?  I have been observing and learning about how branches can help 'thicken up' trunks.  At the very worst, this new set of branching is working to 'thicken' up those tall, long limbs that are coming out of the trunk.  At the very best, this new growth is showing a tree that is satisfied with the environment and back on a path of growth. 

Another area of growth on this tree that is jumping out to me this year is the far south side, where the tree now reaches almost over to the southside bed with a set of foliage and branches that hang over the lawn.  See below for a zoom'd-in and annotated slice of the full photo of this Tree Swing tree:


This part wasn't present *at all* in 2018.  In fact, I'm not sure it was present at all even just 15 months ago.  See this post showing the naked tree.  This limb appears to have grown since then.

I'll snap a photo of it once I see all the leaves drop and we can have a sense for the framework of this tree. But, before then...I have to decide if I should give it another three-year dose of growth regulator.  Or...to stand-pat and see how the tree does on its own.


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