What is Oak Wilt?

Date April 21, 2020


Author TreeNewal Staff

Trees, like any other living organism, are susceptible to disease. Various fungi and diseases can affect and ruin trees, causing their eventual collapse. If you own or are responsible for a property, you can’t have dead trees present on the landscape.

This presents the danger of a collapse that can damage the property, surrounding vehicles, and put the lives of innocent bystanders in peril. For this reason, it’s important to stay proactive in promoting optimal health for your trees.

Oak wilt is one of the most common and deadly tree diseases in the North Texas region. If you want to make sure that your trees are healthy throughout the year, knowing what oak wilt is and its characteristics are essential.

What is Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt is a disease that affects oak trees. It’s caused by a fungus now known as Bretziella fagacearum. The disease is characterized by its symptoms, which include: defoliation, leaf discoloration, wilt, and ultimately death of the tree.

Oak wilt is common in the North Texas region, where it affects thousands of trees every year. Many people mistakenly misinterpret the symptoms of oak wilt as the normal cycle of tree growth.

Diagnosing oak wilt too late will result in the death of your tree, which can spread and infect other trees in the surrounding area.

How Does Oak Wilt Spread?

Oak wilt is a disease caused by fungi that can quickly spread to any trees in the vicinity of the infected trees. An infected tree can also pass on the disease through grafted tree roots in close proximity to other trees. Shockingly, oak wilt can even be transmitted by insects that feed on infected trees, as well as other airborne conduits.

Many property owners aren’t aware of the symptoms of oak wilt and will often act when it’s too late. When this happens, oak wilt will spread to various trees in the surrounding areas. Within just a few months, the process will start over again until all of your trees are compromised. As you can see, oak wilt is highly contagious and requires an extensive preventative treatment process to deter its growth and spread.

Is Oak Wilt Fatal?

Oak wilt is indeed fatal. Once the growth becomes visible through the common symptoms mentioned above, death is imminent. Once you spot the symptoms of oak wilt, your top priority is to inspect to find the extent of its infection.

You can begin by looking at trees next to the infected species to check for any noticeable symptoms. Then, you can proceed with the removal process of the infected tree to prevent its spread.

You should contact an ISA-Certified Arborist to procure professional tree removal services to prevent the spread of oak wilt. Being that oak wilt is a fatal disease, you should act quickly to minimize the surrounding damage as much as you can.

How to Prevent Oak Wilt?

While oak wilt is fatal, it is preventable. In fact, there are a variety of steps you can take to prevent the growth of oak wilt on your property. Historically, oak wilt was prevented by reducing the number of open wounds on oak trees in certain seasons.

This also included removing infected oaks to eliminate the spread of spores and breaking the roots of infected oaks with tools such as hoes, rock saws, trenchers, and vibratory plows.

Now, there are more methods of eliminating the presence of oak wilt. Modern methods include reducing surrounding monocultures and restoring existing ecosystems properly. Fungicides are also an effective means of killing fungi before they become overly problematic.

Will I Need to Hire an ISA-Certified Arborist?

Arborists are like tree surgeons, specializing in the treatment of trees and similar living organisms (i.e shrubs, vines, etc). These individuals are responsible for setting up a tree health plan and managing this plan to achieve optimal tree growth on your property.

Alone, you may lack the knowledge and expertise to properly take care of your trees. Trees aren’t as simple to care for as flowers and need specialized attention from certified professionals. ISA-Certified Arborists in particular are verifiably experienced, specially trained, knowledgeable, and abide by a strict code of ethics, so they are your best ally in preventing oak wilt.

Therefore, if you are concerned about the trees on your property, you should contact an ISA-Certified Arborist like TreeNewal for expert-level guidance.

Contact TreeNewal Today!

TreeNewal has several years of experience prioritizing the health of our clients’ trees. We have seen the disastrous effects of oak wilt and know how to correctly eliminate this threat.

If you would like to keep your trees healthy throughout the year, please give us a call at tel:(817) 592-6846 to learn more about how we can help you.

To learn more about the oak wilt, call us today at tel:(817) 592-6846 or send us a message.

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