Here is Why Your Oak Trees are Giving You Itchy Bumps and Rashes

Oaks are glorious landscaping trees, and those who have had them on their property for years knows just how big they can get. Oak trees are vital assets to your property, providing natural shade and snow fencing, as well as wind mitigation benefits and a load of delightful wildlife viewing. However, if you’ve noticed that every time you sit beneath or work near your oak tree you end up with all sorts of red and itchy welts, it could be due to an unpleasant type of oak tree wildlife, known as oak mites.

Continue reading to learn more about oak mites, including what you can do to get rid of them, while protecting your oak trees.

Oak Tree Care Indianapolis Indiana 317-783-2518
Oak Tree Service Indianapolis Indiana 317-783-2518

What are Oak Mites?

Oak mites are just like any other mite. They are microscopic insects that choose oak trees as their natural habitat because they like to feed on the juicy small midget fly larva that live within the bark tissue. Oftentimes, people mistakenly assume that an oak might bite is actually the result of chiggers. Oak mite bites and chigger bites tend to present the same types of symptoms, including large, itchy, red welts and bumps.

However, you can diagnose an oak mite bite from a chigger bite by simply recalling your activity near the oak trees on your property or somewhere else. Oak mites will drop from oak trees or be carried in the wind, eventually landing on you. Using you as a host, they will bite down and go to town on your skin.

Treating Oak Mite Bites

Typically, oak might bite hours later. And when they do, they will reveal themselves as red or pink bumps or welts on the surface of the skin. They also tend to burn an itch. The secret to treating Oak mite bites is to not scratch. Just like mosquito bites, the more you scratch the worse they get and the longer they take to heal. Scratching can also lead to infection.

To help abate the symptoms of itching and burning caused by oak mite bites, you can apply an antihistamine cream or anti-itch ointment throughout the day and until they heal. Cold presses may also help relieve the burning and itching sensations. You can expect oak mite bites to heal within a few days, but in worse cases or for those with sensitive skin, treatment might be less effective, and bites may take weeks to go away.

How to Prevent Oak Mite Attacks

The best way to prevent getting bitten by oak mites is to avoid getting too close to your oak trees during peak season, like spring and summer. If you must get near your oak trees, where long sleeve shirts and pants to avoid skin exposure. After being near oak trees, it is important to shower immediately and launder your clothes since oak mites will remain on your skin and clothing until you wash them off.

It is important to understand that pesticides are not effective for oak mite removal because they only affect live oak mites, not unhatched mites. A pesticide might reduce the oak mite infestation, but it will not get rid of it completely, even with multiple applications.

Looking for professional service for your oak trees and landscaping trees in Indy? Contact Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for Indianapolis Indiana tree services you can trust. We serve residential and commercial clients all through the central parts of the state.

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Common Questions and Answers About Tree Diseases

Are some of your trees looking worse for wear these days? Have you noticed some foliage loss or increase pest activity around your favorite shrubs? It could be a result of a tree disease or natural health decline. Continue reading to review some of the most common questions about tree diseases and tree care, including their answers of course!

Indianapolis Tree Service Company 317-783-2518
Indianapolis Tree Service Company 317-783-2518

Is My Tree Dead?

You can tell if a tree is dead or alive with a few different methods. The easiest DIY method is the twig test. Snap off a branch and look at the tissue inside; if the twig is dry and brittle, snaps easily, and has dull or brown colored tissue inside, it is likely dead. If the twig has some bend or tension to it, and retains green or yellow tissue inside, it is likely still alive.

Keep in mind that a dead or dying tree is a dangerous one, and should be treated or removed as soon as possible. The best way to determine the condition of a tree is to hire a licensed Indianapolis tree service company to make the determination for you; they can do this in just one quick visit.

Is Moss Bad for a Tree?

When moss grows on trees, it can create a multitude of problems. It is best to remove the moss in a safe way to protect your trees. To remove moss from trees, you will mostly have to manage the water and moisture in your yard. Be sure to water your lawn less often, and avoid soaking the tree trunk and tree bark during the grass-watering process. It also helps to treat your soil so that the pH levels fall within the proper parameters. Use a soil testing kit to test the pH levels in your lawn, and then adjust them accordingly.

What is Oak Wilt?

Oak Wilt is a debilitating vascular fungal disease that affects all species of oak trees. It is caused by a fungus that enters and obstructs a tree’s inner vascular system where water and nutrients are distributed throughout the tree. It can be challenging identifying symptoms of this tree disease since live oaks and red oaks exhibit different signs of oak wilt. The most common sign in a live oak is veinal necrosis, which is evident when leaves develop chlorotic and necrotic veins, causing the leaf veins to turn yellow and brown, and then fall off.

Red oak trees infected with oak wilt do not experience veinal necrosis. Instead, leaves simply wilt and turn colors of pale green, brown, and bronze; but they do not usually drop off. The most common treatment for oak wilt is a series of bimonthly fungicide injections called Propiconazole, which is applied through macro-injection of the root flares.

What is Winter Burn?

Winter burn, also known as desiccation, is a potentially-fatal seasonal problem among evergreen trees. The most common causes for winter burn are insufficient levels of moisture in soil, freezing temperatures, and inclement winds. The signs of winter burn vary depending on the species of tree, however, gradual scale (ombre) needle coloring tends to be the most common.

Are Pests a Problem for Trees?

You definitely need to think about proper pest and insect control for your trees. Beetles, borers, mites, wildlife, and even tree diseases can quickly affect the health of a tree in the worst way. For instance, leaf-eating insects inhibit the tree’s ability to carry on the process of photosynthesis, thus rendering the tree sick and weak. It requires a professional arborist to positively identify, diagnose, and treat insect infestations and tree diseases.

My Tree Gets Water and Sunlight. So Why is it Unhealthy?

Trees don’t just flourish on water and sunlight alone. They also require a sufficient amount of nutrients, or tree food, for optimal growth and survival. Trees source their nutrients from the surrounding and underlying soil. Which means poor or inadequate soil conditions can cause adverse changes in a tree. If you suspect that your tree is suffering from a lack of nutrients, try fertilizing it to regain its strength and stability.

Where Can I Find Reliable Tree Service?

Call Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for experienced tree service in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana. We offer a wide range of residential and commercial tree services, including tree removal, tree trimming, stump grinding, stump removal, lot clearing, and more. If you want professional and efficient service you can trust, Complete Tree Care is the right call!

Indianapolis Tree Care 317-783-2518
Indianapolis Tree Care 317-783-2518

How to Identify and Treat Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt is a debilitating vascular fungal disease that can affect all species of oak trees. Learn what causes this transmittable tree disease, how to identify the signs, and what you can do to stop it from killing your majestic oaks. Continue reading to cover these topics and more.

Oak Tree Care Indianapolis IN
Call 317-783-2518 For Oak Tree Service in Indianapolis Indiana

Oak Wilt Tree Disease

As mentioned, oak wilt is a vascular fungal disease. It is caused by a fungus that enters and obstructs a tree’s inner vascular system where water and nutrients are distributed throughout the tree. Since the fungus enters this internal transportation system, it affects the entire tree rather than an isolated spot. Furthermore, if these food and water lines are inhibited, it can cause a tree to enter a quick decline. For this reason, it is important to address an oak wilt outbreak before it can take over your tree.


There are many ways tree diseases can be spread, however, oak wilt is primarily transmitted through beetles or root grafting. Beetles can carry the fungus from one tree to the next, while underground roots of an infected oak tree can share water and nutrient lines with the root system of a nearby tree. This also spreads the fungus. Once an oak tree is dead from the disease, it is no longer transmittable, unless it is a Red oak. Red oak trees should be properly burned and disposed to prevent further outbreaks.

Signs and Symptoms

Live oaks and red oaks exhibit different signs of oak wilt. For live oaks, one of the most common signs is a called veinal necrosis. Leaves develop chlorotic and necrotic veins, in which the leaf veins turn yellow, and then turn brown. This occurrence is usually one of the first noticeable signs of oak wilt disease. From there, additional leaf decline and rapid foliage loss usually takes place, followed by a 1 to 6 month health decline period, and eventually, death. Red oak trees infected with oak wilt do not experience veinal necrosis. Instead, leaves simply wilt and turn colors of pale green, brown, and bronze. They remain attached for the most part, but red oak trees will only survive anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks once infected.


Certain species of oaks are not likely to die from oak wilt, including Post oaks, chinquapins, and bur oaks. The most common treatment for oak wilt is a series of bimonthly fungicide injections called Propiconazole. This fungicide is applied through macro-injection of the root flares. This application technique generally gives the best results, however, the fungicide treatment does not guarantee the tree’s survival. Propiconazole fungicide treatments are also effective methods of oak wilt prevention. Talk to your local Indianapolis tree service company about your options for Oak wilt prevention.

Call Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for Indianapolis tree service you can trust. We are highly trained and experienced tree care technicians that offer commercial and residential tree services at affordable prices. Request an estimate or advice anytime. Call 317-783-2518 to learn more about tree care in Indianapolis, Indiana today.