Oak Wilt - Are There Treatment Options?
Oak Wilt is caused by a non-native fungus and is a prevalent tree disease affecting oak trees in Minnesota. Oak will can be prevented - and there are some treatments that may be an option. Red Oaks must be treated before they are infected, but White Oaks can be treated in earlier stages.
Preventing Oak Wilt
Oak wilt is most commonly spread from diseased to healthy trees either below-ground via connected roots or above-ground by insects (sap beetles). Transmission by the beetles occurs during April through mid-July. These beetles are attracted to fresh, wood-penetrating wounds in oak trees, therefore it is important to avoiding wounding or cutting healthy oaks, particularly during spring and early summer. If damage does occur to an oak on your property, it is important to immediately treat the cut/damaged surface with water-based paint, a pruning/wound sealer, or shellac.
Preventing the spread of oak wilt from an infected tree to a nearby healthy oak tree via connected roots is usually accomplished through root plowing, where the connected roots between diseased and healthy oaks are cut with a vibrating plow. The diseased oak tree (or trees) then have to be cut down and removed from the property.
Oak Wilt Treatment Options
In a few cases, oak wilt can be treated through the use of fungicide injections for white oaks in the very early staged of oak wilt, Fungicide injections can also be done to oak trees near an infected tree know to have Oak Wilt. These injections to treat oak wilt should only be done by a certified tree professional.
If you are concerned that you have oak wilt in some of your oak trees, call Pioneer Tree & Landscape Inc. at (763) 238-5254 to setup an appointment. Anoka County and Sherburne County have the highest concentration of oak wilt in the state, and it is important to identify and treat your trees immediately.
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