Oak Wilt has unfortunately become a more common issue affecting landowners around Northern Wisconsin. It is a severe fungal disease that infects Oak trees and spreads rapidly. It is important for landowners to be informed on this issue in order to effectively manage the trees on their property.
How it spreads:
Oak Wilt spreads primarily from mid-April to the end of July. If an Oak tree becomes wounded during the summer time, it creates a gateway for beetles to transmit the fungus from infected trees into new areas. Once a tree becomes infected it will then spread the disease through the root system to neighboring Oak trees. The disease will continue to spread like wild fire unless a treatment is applied to stop it.
What you can do about it:
There are a few different treatment options offered at Steigerwaldt Land Services to confront this issue. Landowners can either choose to inject their trees with a fungicide every two years to hold off the disease, treat the trees within range of infection with an herbicide to wipe out the disease pocket entirely or a combination of both. If landowners have any questions at all Steigerwaldt is here to help! The environmental specialists on staff are happy out to come to your property and walk through different options on how to control this issue while also saving the aesthetics of your property.
How to prevent it:
The number one way to prevent Oak Wilt from reaching your property is to never get your Oak trees pruned in the summer and to watch for early signs of wilting. The amount of property owners who have made this mistake is devastating. Protect your trees by waiting until the winter to get them thinned and cleaned up. Educating your neighbors is also always helpful. The more people who are aware of this issue, the more affectively it can be managed.
-Kate Handberg, Enviromental Specialist