Oak Wilt Disease

dutch elm beetle
Oak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum) is a fungal disease that moves through the vascular system (water conducting tissue) of the tree. The fungus spores are carried to the tree by small beetles that feed on sap from fresh wounds. Early symptoms of oak wilt include browning of leaves, leaf wilting, and premature leaf drop. Since oak wilt symptoms are common with many other tree problems, sending a sample to be analyzed by a laboratory is recommended. To help prevent oak wilt, avoid pruning oak species in the growing season, from April through mid July. If pruning is necessary in the growing season, wound sealant should be applied immediately after the cut. Although there are fungicidal treatments to help prevent the disease, oak species and location make all the difference.
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