It’s not your imagination. Those beautiful mature oaks are dying, along the road, in forests, perhaps even in your yard — at an accelerating rate.

Reports of mature, seemingly healthy trees suddenly becoming leafless and dropping dead branches are flooding into the offices of local officials and state forestry agencies in Chesapeake Bay drainage states. Forest inventories show the oaks are declining in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.

Written by Ad Crable, a Bay Journal staff writer based in Pennsylvania who can be reached at This article first appeared in the Bay Journal and was distributed by the Bay Journal News Service.