How Can Oak Wilt Be Stopped?

Date May 24, 2022


Author TreeNewal Staff

Oak wilt is a deadly disease that affects oak trees. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure, and the tree will die. In this blog post, we will discuss how to identify oak wilt, the causes of oak wilt, and how to manage it when it happens to your trees.

What Can be Done About Oak Wilt?

When the oak wilt fungus has taken hold of your beautiful oak, there, unfortunately, is nothing that can be done to cure it entirely, but the fungus can be suppressed with fungicides. But prevention of new infections is quite effective. If quick action is taken to prevent the spread of the disease, you’ll be best able to keep the effects to a minimum.

How to Identify Oak Wilt

The most common symptom of oak wilt is wilting leaves. This happens because the disease blocks the tree’s vascular system, preventing water and nutrients from being transported to the leaves. Leaves may turn brown and fall off the tree prematurely. Oak wilt can also cause bark death, discoloration of the wood under the bark, and premature defoliation. If you notice any of these symptoms on your oak trees, it is important to contact an ISA-Certified Arborist or tree care professional like those at TreeNewal immediately.

How Oak Wilt Gets into a Tree

The most common way that oak wilt gets into a tree is through wounds. Trees can be wounded by many things, including storms, construction, pruning, and landscaping. Once the fungus is in the tree, it will block the vascular system and prevent water and nutrients from being transported to the leaves. As many oak trees develop their roots into connected grafts, the fungus can also spread through the roots to other trees. This is an especially common way to disease transfer in red oaks.

Which Oaks are at Risk of Oak Wilt

All oak trees are at risk of oak wilt, but some oaks are more susceptible than others. The most susceptible oaks are red oaks, which include Southern red oak, Shumard red oak, water oak, and live oak. White oaks are much less susceptible to the disease but can still be infected. Some white oaks that are at risk include white oak, bur oak, and post oak. Oak wilt can affect any oak tree, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms no matter what type of oak you have.

How to Treat and Prevent Oak Wilt

The best ways to manage oak wilt are to take quick action to prevent it from spreading when it first shows signs in your yard and to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are several things you can do to prevent and manage oak wilt:

  • Maintain a healthy tree. Healthy trees are less susceptible to oak wilt and other diseases.
  • Avoid wounding the bark of your oak trees. Wounded bark is an entry point for the fungus that causes oak wilt.
  • Remove dead and dying oak trees from your property. These trees can spread the disease to healthy trees.
  • Infected oak trees should be removed and destroyed. Do not compost or burn these trees, as this can spread the disease to other areas.

Be Sure It’s Oak Wilt with the Help of TreeNewal

Keep in mind that many of the symptoms of oak wilt are present in the early detection of other tree illnesses like root stress, anthracnose, chlorosis, drought, and many, many more. Have a professional tree care service take a look to confirm the source of the issue as soon as you notice something unusual in your tree. That way you can know for sure while the illness is in a smaller, more manageable state.

If you need advice or assistance with keeping oak wilt out of your yard, get in touch with the ISA-Certified Arborists at TreeNewal and enjoy tailored tree care advice.

To learn more about How Can Oak Wilt Be Stopped?, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams

at (817) 592-6846 or send us a message.

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