Oak Wilt Treatments

    Oak wilt is a devastating disease that can kill trees in the red oak group very quickly. Trees will usually die within one year of infection. Once one oak tree is infected, the disease can continue to spread underground via root grafts (interconnected root systems). Diseased pockets of trees will continue to get larger each year as long as there are nearby oaks. 

    Luckily, there are some treatment methods to help stop this disease from spreading. The treatment in the photo above is called the girdle-herbicide treatment. For this method, the infected trees and nearby healthy trees that are likely root grafted, are girdled by cutting approximately one inch into the tree with a chainsaw all the way around. This cuts off the nutrient flow within the tree and kills the tree. An herbicide is then applied to the girdled area. The herbicide gets pulled down into the root system which disrupts the root connections and stops the disease from spreading outward to additional trees. This is just one of the ways we are helping slow down the spread of tree diseases in our beautiful Northwoods forests.

    – Ben Williams, Environmental Operations Director