It might have survived. That’s the tragedy. The oak might have lived.
When I moved into my current house ten years ago there was only one tree on the property. It was the green ash out front, a beautiful boulevard tree with that distinct “trying hard to replace the American Elm” look. You know the one. Every house has a tree planted at the exact same time. It turns the street into a tunnel when the trees are mature and in really gives the neighborhood a unified feel.
Then they all die. Monocultures are like that. These trees aren’t just similar trees of the same species. They are exact genetic clones of each other. Their roots graft underground. Their tops get exposed to the same pests and diseases. One day something just comes in and wipes the whole thing out, leaving the neighborhood with a different kind of unified feel.
Not a good one.
Enter, the Emerald Ash Borer.