Growth on my leafless oak tree
My oak tree has done well for quite a few years. However, this year it never got any leaves and there is a strange growth on the one side of it. The branches aren't brittle so I think it is still alive and I'd like it to stay that way! Please help!
The bark looks to have lichens growing which often aren't a problem. However, given the lack of health of your tree, it may indicate a weakened, sick tree. Red and live oaks are susceptible to oak wilt disease. That your tree didn't leaf out means it is a dying, if not already dead tree. Going into winter with no chance to renew its energy supply will kill it off. If you aren't convinced and since it needs some pruning, you can double check yourself. Cut off the lowest branch on the left (it is competing with the central leader) and look for signs of life just inside the bark. If the entire inside is dull tan, it is dead. Internal rot may keep branches from being brittle.