I need help! I got this tree approximately two years ago May 2017 to be exact and it was fluffy lots of leaves!! However, this year it did not grow any new leaves only suckers, can anyone please give me advice on how to keep it alive? Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone #savetrees

[enter image description here][1]][1]![enter image description hereenter image description here

[1]: https://i.sstatic.net/c5yIH.jpgenter image description hereenter image description here

  • I am looking at your yard and wondering if this tree was neglected last year... be honest, did you water it at all last year?
    – Rob
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 14:33
  • I watered this tree almost everyday and I think that the problem.! And it’s been raining like crazy so I think it’s just overwatered. I am wondering if it’s worth relocating it to another site in my backyard.?! The branches were way longer but it just got pruned to see if that’ll help it come back... and the branches were not at all dry, nor brittle. They’re actually was tiny buds coming out but then it stopped so that’s why it got cut. I am trying to save this tree!!HELP! Also doesn’t help that my backyard is full of granite and no grass and that it’s pure bedrock underneath
    – user25778
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


I was surprised to learn that most or all oak trees sold by nurseries are grafted. It appears that the sucker growth is coming out from below the bulge where the graft is. If this is the case then the top graft is weak or dead and the root system is still strong.

I also see that a stake was used and it enters the ground right next to the trunk. This is not best practice as a few roots got killed when it was staked. What is recommended is using two stakes a few feet out from the trunk with a loose tie to the trunk that is removed no later than one year after planting.

I also wonder if the tree has been planted too low. From the picture it is hard to tell how thick the wood chips are. Recommended is no more than an inch of mulch or the roots cannot get oxygen from the air.

The top graft looks dead. Verify this by making a few small cuts and looking for a bit of green between the bark and the interior. If it is dead it will never look like a nice tree and should be removed.

Should you choose to replace it planting high works well in areas of poor soil or rock. More guidelines are here in Chapter 6. It's technical but worth your time.

  • Thank you soooo much for all this information! It came with that bamboo stake, we just weren’t sure when to remove it? We had replaced some of the green ties it came with since it has grown since we got it. Also, they advised us to dig 18 inches deep which took forever because as I mentioned is pure BEDROCK limestone underneath. The only reason we don’t have grass it’s because we are in the process of building an outdoor area with a pool so it made no sense to get the sod installed when we purchased our new home.
    – user25778
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 18:38
  • We thought it might need more dirt because of the bedrock issue but I guess we should remove the dirt we added and mulch? There’s tons of suckers but 1 is coming from underneath and not from the bark! Can this be something that can be saved? I’ve tried breaking of some of the branches and they won’t there intact and
    – user25778
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 18:38
  • @Futurebotanists this tree will never look like a normal oak tree as the suckers are poorly attached and and will fail when there's some weight from wood on them
    – kevinskio
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 22:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.