Here Are Some Oak Wilt Treatments To Consider

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when oak trees in Michigan are at high risk for one particular disease. Oak wilt season starts on April 15 and goes through July 15. It’s a serious fungal disease that attacks white oak and red oak trees. And, if not treated, it can kill them within a few weeks of infection. It’s called oak wilt.

According to the Michigan Oak Wilt webpage, oak wilt, as the name implies, causes the leaves of the oak tree to wilt and turn brown.

Several trees are more susceptible to it than others. They include:

  • Northern red oak
  • Pin oak
  • Scarlet oak
  • Black oak   

Certain white oaks, though, can thrive— even if infected. Oak wilt is becoming more of a problem in Michigan as the number of cases increases year after year.

So, let’s find out how this disease spreads and what you can do to decrease the risk for your oak trees.

How Oak Wilt Spreads

If oak wilt is not taken care of, you run the risk of infecting other trees. How?  Insects can pick it up and carry it to a nearby tree. Also, if the roots of an infected tree grow into the roots of a neighboring tree, the disease can spread underground.

Oak Wilt Kills Trees From The Inside

Oak wilt spreads throughout the root system of the tree. The water-conducting canals gradually become clogged. Water transfer eventually stops, causing the withering effects.

Preventing Oak Wilt

Beetles tend to attack your trees not long after trimming or pruning. If they’re carrying oak wilt disease, they will spread it. So, avoid trimming or pruning your trees when the weather is warm. In Michigan, only prune or trim from November through March (the non-growing season).

If you do notice fresh wounds on your tree, you can paint over them (with latex paint)  to prevent beetles from attacking. Also, space your trees far enough apart when planting.  You’ll want to make sure your tree’s roots don’t touch the roots of another tree. As we mentioned, the roots can spread the disease.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has additional information on its website. As does this brochure from Consumers Energy.

Tree Injections For Oak Wilt Treatment

When it comes to treating oak wilt, tree injections will not be able to save red oak group trees already exhibiting symptoms. We also recommend injecting non-infected oaks that are growing near the sick trees. This will help slow the disease’s spread.

It is also imperative that infected trees be removed. Do not use it for firewood unless the wood is sealed under a tarp during the warm season. It can be debarked, or the wood can be chipped.

Safari Tree Oak Wilt Treatment

Don’t expose your trees to the risk of fungal infection. For additional information on prevention or a free treatment estimate, contact Safari Tree today.