Karen Rane, director of the Plant Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Maryland, quoted in Washington Post article on the decline of oaks in the DMV.
“The anaerobic conditions of flooded soil are not good for oaks,” said Rane, noting that many of the hard-hit oaks are next to highway construction, where there are changes in drainage and soil compaction.
“They lose oxygen in the soil. That’s stress on older trees — or on any tree, but older ones can’t tolerate it the way younger trees can. That may have triggered an acceleration of decline in these older trees,” Rane said. “Once the trees weaken, trees emit signals that allow opportunistic insects to find them and attack. That’s the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
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