Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions about your trees and we have answers.

Q: My Oak tree is dripping sticky sap onto my patio furniture and patio is there anything I can do about.

A: The answer is no
The sap is dripping from the acorns in the tree after they have been stung by a wasp to deposit their eggs. Some scientists believe that the fungus is either on the outside of the acorn or the inside, whichever the case may be. The only way to reduce this drip is by reducing the acorn crop and there is no current effective way to do that.

Q: It’s mid-August and my Redwood tree is turning brown in the middle. Is it dying?

A: No this is just the response by the tree after several months of little to no water in this Mediterranean climate.
The tree is sloughing off the needles that it thinks it does not need to conserve water. After the first good rains all the brown needles will be knocked off and the tree will look green again.

Q: My Pine tree has large globs of white and pinkish sap at its base what could be the problem?

A: These are indications that the tree has been attacked by a Red Turpentine Beetle.
The beetle was attracted to that particular tree because the tree was signaling that it is drought stressed, and the Beatles sole purpose in life is to come in and finish the tree off along with two other beetles. We can spray the lower trunk of the tree with a chemical called Astro to prevent any further attacks by the Beetle.

Q: How do I know whether my tree has the Sudden Oak Death. Or SOD which is common in many counties in California?

A: This is caused by a fungus or in particular a brown mold called Phytophthora ramarum.
This fungus is active in the winter months when the soil has become rehydrated and foliar hosts start picking it up from the root system and depositing the fungus onto the base of nearby Oak trees when it comes out the leaves and is then transmitted to the trunk of the Oak through rain water splashing on the trunk. The best thing to do would be to have an arborist inspect the tree if it does have the disease we can spray to arrest the development of the fungus. And if it does not have this fungus it is best to spray as a preventative.

Q: My Oak tree has dead leaves at the end of its branches and concern that it may die?

A: This is a symptom of what is called a ‘twig pruner’.

The wasp stings the small twigs to deposit its egg. When the egg hatches it starts to feed on the surrounding tissue gurgling the twig. This can be dealt with by injecting the tree with a systemic insecticide, so that any bugs that suck, chew or bore into the tree and ingest the insecticide and die.

If you just purchased a piece of property and are not familiar with the trees on that property or their growth characteristics, the best thing that you can do Is contact an arborist and have him or her help you evaluate the health of the trees on your new property.

I hope that you have found some useful information in what we identify as frequently asked questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the question thinking that it might be stupid. A wise man once said the only stupid question is the one not asked. If your local arborist isn’t sure of the answer there are a number of different academic organizations in the area which can help him or her find the answers.