Friday, March 8, 2013

Protect oaks from wilt disease by pruning during winter

Oak wilt, Ceratocystis fagacearum, is a deadly disease in oak trees with the red oak group being more susceptible than white oaks. Once oak wilt has infected a red oak tree, there is little chance of saving it.

Oak wilt can be carried to a tree by sap-feeding insects such as picnic beetles. These sap feeding beetles are attracted to oaks with fresh wounds. Picnic beetles feeding on the sap of oaks can transmit this fungal disease.

Avoid pruning of oak trees during the growing season. If pruning of oaks is necessary, it should be restricted to the winter when sap feeding beetles are not active.
One of the first symptoms of oak wilt is browning leaves at
the top of the tree which then spreads to lateral branches.


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