Asked May 19, 2019, 9:49 AM EDT
Livingston County Michigan
I don’t see anything obvious in your pictures. The branches dying on one side could be from winter exposure or a root zone problem in the area of the roots that feed that side of the tree- compacted soil, root damage.
You are correct to not prune now. If it becomes necessary to prune oak in the growing season, paint the cut with a latex house paint within a few minutes of cutting the branch.
It appears you have planted the tree at the correct depth, and you have removed the grass from the root zone- good! I would have a certified arborist out to examine the whole tree and give a treatment plan. He/she can run tests, or may see something in person, that indicates what is going on. ( An arborist visit can include an exam of all trees on your property at the same visit- making it a efficient thing to do if you have any other questions on trees or shrubs.) Find a certified arborist here by zip code- www.treesaregood.org
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