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Oak Wilt: The Danger of Underground Roots Versus Overground Insects

Oak wilt is a deadly disease that can quickly kill your oak trees. There are two ways that the disease typically spreads: through underground roots or overground by insects. Both methods are dangerous, but which one is more dangerous? In this blog post, we will explore both of these situations and the dangers of each.

What is Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt is a disease that affects oak trees. The disease is caused by a fungus called Ceratocystis fagacearum. This fungus invades the tree through wounds in the bark and then spread throughout the tree, eventually killing it. Oak wilt can kill a healthy oak tree within weeks or even days.

What are the Two Methods of Spread?

There are two primary ways that oak wilt spreads: through underground roots or overground by insects.

Underground Root Spread

Oak wilt typically spreads through underground roots. The roots of certain oak trees are interconnected, so when one tree is infected, the disease can quickly spread to other oak trees. This is a major problem because it can kill many root-connected oak trees within a few years.

Additionally, oak wilt is difficult to control once it has spread through the roots. Tree removal is the only sure way to stop the spread of oak wilt, but this is often not practical or desirable.

Overground Insects

The other way that oak wilt can spread is overground by insects. Insects are attracted to the scent of oak wilt and can carry the disease from tree to tree. This method of spread is less common, but it can still be dangerous.

If you have oak trees on your property, it is important to be on the lookout for signs of oak wilt and to contact a professional tree care company if you think your trees may be infected.

Which oaks are most susceptible to oak wilt?

Red oak and live oak are the most susceptible to oak wilt. Other oaks, such as white oak and post oak, are much less susceptible but can still be infected.

What are the symptoms of oak wilt?

The symptoms of oak wilt vary depending on the type of oak tree. In red oaks, the leaves will turn brown and wilt from the tips of the branches inward. In live oaks, the leaves will turn yellow and fall off the tree. Live oak leaves also display a very distinctive damage pattern with brown veins and green tissue between the veins.

General signs that an oak tree is infested with oak wilt include:

  • Discolored leaves
  • Branch dieback
  • Leaf scorch
  • Premature fall coloration

If you think your oak tree is infected with oak wilt, it is important to contact a professional tree care company like TreeNewal. We can help you determine if your tree is infected and take steps to prevent the disease from spreading.

Is oak wilt treatable?

Unfortunately, oak wilt is not curable, but therapeutic treatments are available for some trees. . Preventative treatments and good management can go a long way to helping prevent the disease in the first place.

So, Which Is Worse?

Both methods of oak wilt spread are dangerous, but the underground roots method is usually more deadly. This method can also be much harder to diagnose and manage as the root network is out of sight. Because the disease can also spread so quickly through the roots, it can be difficult to stop once it has started. If you think your oak trees may be infected with oak wilt, it is important to contact a professional tree care company as soon as possible.

If you have oak trees on your property, it is important to be aware of the dangers of oak wilt and to take steps to prevent the disease from spreading. TreeNewal is a professional tree care company that can help you with all of your oak wilt needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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

To learn more about Oak Wilt: The Danger of Underground Roots Versus Overground Insects, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams

at (817) 349-7754 or send us a message.

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