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Author Topic: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine  (Read 2615 times)

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Offline thecfarm

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Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« on: April 01, 2013, 03:31:45 pm »
I have this Northern Red Oak,Quercus ruba growing beside my driveway. There has been a woods road here for 100 years. All that was done was put down ground fabric and gravel on that. This area is shaped like an arch,about 300 feet long and about 60 feet at it's widest point. Just about all red Oak,no softwood. The oaks are really too close together,but it looks good coming up the driveway. Mother Nature thins it out herself and than I remove the dead tree.I keep this area cleaned up and there are no new growth there.On average the smallest tree would be 6 inches.On the other side of the driveway is 2-4 trees spaced about 20-30 feet apart, than a field.

This is a picture from a distance.As you can see the clumps are all over the limbs. The truck of the tree itself look just like the others. This tree is about 18 inches across.
 

 

This show the clumps. The one on the left is bigger than a basketball. Most are not that big.

 

 

This one is a close up of the clumps.

 

  

Some of these clumps have broken off. I have split them open and it's real rough on the outside and inside is not much better. What caused this? It has not affected any of the other trees in this area. Been like this for years,20 years??
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Offline SPIKER

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 03:46:14 pm »
I've got some of these growing on my Pin Oaks here in Ohio, MOST of them are only golf-ball sized though & started in last 3~4 years.   The Pin Oaks are real similar to red Oak so not sure if that matters much.   I started seeing them the year AFTER we had a BAD Ice Storm that really messed up the area trees.   I think they are caused by a fungus but not sure.   I have not heard of any treatment for them either however I have not searched for info a year or more now.

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Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 03:52:25 pm »
The golf ball sized things are common to many oaks and are called oak apple galls. I believe they are caused by a wasp, but for sure, an insect.

The tree in the photo is covered with burl like growths. These can be natural mis-growths that form them or could be crown gall, caused by a bacteria. Actually it's the same type of bacteria used to make GMU crops.

Anyway, if the burls are solid, they  could be of interest to wood turners, especially if they are attractive inside.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 04:01:30 pm »
They are hard,need an axe to so called split them open. But the few that I have spilt open have voids in them,like small air pockets. The biggest one that I have picked up was about the size of a baseball.The so called wood is a bright color too,but has some dark streaks too. In the summer when the leaves are on you would have no idea this trees has anything a matter with it. Not looking to save,there are many more right around it.
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Offline GAB

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 04:39:47 pm »
I have some bitternut hickories with similar orbs or burls in the branches.  I do not think they are as large as what you fellows are describing.  We had an ice storm in this area in Jan of '98.  I, also would like to know more about these small orbs or burls.  Gerald
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Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 05:14:01 pm »
If it is crown gall, the bacteria is everywhere and adjacent trees that don't already have it probably won't get it. Resistance to crown gall is highly variable. I suspect that if this is what you have, this is just a susceptable tree. I wouldn't worry about it unless you see it spreading in a stand of trees.

Can you post a closeup of the split burl? That might help.  :P

You will find burly trees like this on almost any kind of tree if you look long enough.
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Offline clww

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 05:23:47 pm »
I took down a maple a few years ago that had growth like this on many branches.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 05:31:38 pm »
Have to wait for one of those to fall out of the tree.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 03:11:37 am »
Need a lathe, then see if them burls have some pretty grain. The wife might chase you down though if you go at her oak tree. ;D ;)

Looks a lot like the burls on my black cherry, caused by black knot fungus.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 08:37:54 am »
Yes, you are right about the black cherry. Mine can look the same way,just not as many per tree.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 01:17:41 pm »
I have some pictures and I was VERY surprised on what I found inside from past ones that I have split open.
This is about the size of a softball.

 

 

Closer view

 

 

This is sawed open

 

 

A closer view

 

 

I was surpised to see the solid wood inside of it. I might have a burl maker.  There are some that are a size of a basketball up in the tree. Kinda like kill the goose to get the golden egg.  :D

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 01:31:02 pm »
Gold in them galls.  8)

Try one of your cherry galls, you'll be impressed. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 01:50:32 pm »
I have seen them on my cherry trees,but most time the tree was just about dead and went for firewood. I have about 3-4 down by the lower end of the field that I want to save. I am cutting around them to see the field better as I drive up the road. Another clearing project.  ::) Those cherry trees are not burl makers at this time. Tell you the truth they make be half dead too. Which would not shock me too much. If a cherry gets a foot across here that is big on my land.I did not notice them until the leafs was just about off.
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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 02:29:51 pm »
They get pretty big up here, but none of them are beauties because of the defect. I can cut a short log once in awhile, but they tend to be open grown and terrible limby after 10-12 feet up I did cut one that was 21" on the but end. My cousin was with me at the time and his eyes got big. :D :D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2016, 07:17:03 pm »
The tree did not leaf out this year.
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2016, 08:41:59 pm »
You sending the tree to the wood shed or to the mill?
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2016, 09:06:13 pm »
Good question. I am not a furniture maker,but could use a outdoor bench. Rustic I can do.  ;D
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2016, 10:13:08 pm »
You could probably make a few bills selling them to custom knife makers for knife handle scales.
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Offline ReinkeFandS

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Re: Red oak clumps on limbs in Maine
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2016, 10:17:31 pm »
I also have a bitternut hickory with the same looking things all over the branches
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