Oak wilt is one of the most common tree diseases in the U.S, impacting more than 60 counties in Central Texas alone. Considering how significant oak trees are for local homeowners, it pays to know more about oak wilt prevention and what you can do to stop the spread of this plant disease.
How Oak Wilt Symptoms Vary in Different Species
Oak wilt is a lethal disease caused by Bretziella fagacearum, a fungus that spreads from tree to tree via pests (sap beetles) or root grafts.
The more than 15 variations of oak trees are classified into two groups—red and black, or white and bur. Symptoms usually vary between species, and some of the common ones manifest between the groups.
Red and Black Oaks
Red and black oaks are more susceptible to wilt than any other species. The disease usually occurs in late spring or early summer, and the first symptoms occur in the trees’ upper areas. Leaves will turn yellow or brown, starting from the leaves’ tips going down to the base.
It is vital to monitor your wounding oak for these symptoms when the infection starts, as it spreads quickly and can destroy the tree by the end of the season.
White and Bur Oaks
White and bur oaks are more resistant to wilt, and symptoms spread gradually. If you notice one or several limbs scattered throughout the oak with yellowing or browning leaves, it is a clear sign of infection and may cause premature leaf drop.
Oak Wilt Prevention and Treatment
While there is no cure for wilt-infected trees, a few preventative methods can help stop the spreading of the disease. Our oak wilt management specialists can help diagnose your trees and offer a solid plan of action.
Sanitary pruning is one of the first things you should do to delay the spread throughout the tree. Pruning includes the process of removing deteriorated branches using accurate cuts. While it is helpful for all types of oaks, it is most efficient for resilient species such as white and bur oaks.
Remove the Tree
The oak’s root system is one of the primary transmission sources of the infection. If you have several oak trees planted in your yard and they are close to one another, you don’t want the disease to spread to all of them.
It is essential to consult with a professional about removing the tree safely and effectively to avoid even greater damage.
Another oak wilt prevention tip to keep in mind is fungicides. While it can’t cure the disease, it can protect other healthy oaks in your yard from a possible fungal mat. If you don’t have experience applying fungicides, it is best to hire a professional to do it.
Plant New Trees
If you have already experienced tree loss due to this terrible disease, you should consider planting a mix of different trees. Whether you choose Spanish, Water Oak, or Shumard, it is good to have trees that are more resistant to fungus and provide better protection for the remaining plants.
Call for Professional Oak Wilt Management
Don’t let a tree disease demolish your beautiful lawn. If some of these oak wilt prevention tips don’t work, don’t lose hope and call for professional tree management.
We at Rockoff Tree Solutions have the experience, tools, and skills to inspect your oak trees and suggest possible treatment options. We are the go-to team for oak wilt management in Texas Hill Country, so rest assured we’ll find the most efficient solutions for your yard.
Contact us today at 830-955-0304 for oak wilt prevention and management.