Oak Wilt and Firewood

Winter is here and for many arborists that means it’s “Oak Season.” Winter is the time of year that it is ideal to perform removals of any diseased Oak trees and is safe to prune healthy trees.

Oak Wilt is becoming a serious issue throughout the forests of northern Wisconsin. In order for a landowner to protect their land from disease outbreaks it is critical to be aware of the guidelines on how to properly dispose of diseased material. There are three main guidelines that Steigerwaldt Land Services use to advise our clients:

  1. Any tree that is currently diseased or has died from Oak Wilt this year cannot be used for firewood for at least one year.
  2. If the diseased material is to remain on a landowner’s property then the wood must be covered with a tarp or buried.
  3. If the diseased material is to be taken off the property then it must be disposed of at a regulated burn site

Many landowners burn firewood to heat their homes through the brutal Wisconsin winters. Protect your forests by keeping a look out for signs of Oak Wilt and by making sure that your firewood is disease free. Steigerwaldt Land Services has partnered with state organizations to help effectively manage disease outbreaks and the contaminated material for landowners in several nearby counties. Too many landowners lose large amounts of trees to this disease every year. Whether you live full time up in the Northwoods or just enjoy weekends up at the cabin, an Oak Wilt disease pocket has the potential to drastically transform your property.

The topic of this disease can quickly become overwhelming, but the environmental specialists at Steigerwaldt are happy to help. Our specialists can come out for a site visit and walk through the process of learning what symptoms to look out for and which guidelines to follow. By being proactive and ready to learn, landowners can ensure that the beauty of their forests continues to last for many years.

– Kate Handberg, Environmental Assistant/Staff Forester