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Global Forests -
Little Known or Interesting Factoids About Trees and Tree Physiology

Karen Rockoff is the primary contact 
Jim is in the hospital & will take calls through Karen.

Karen Rockoff is the only ISA certified
arborist with 
oakwilt.com.

BEWARE- There are other persons fraudulently representing Oakwilt.com. These persons are not authorized or licensed to use the oakwilt.com name or inject with the chemjet system. Please contact Karen Rockoff immediately if these persons attempt to solicit these services. 

Contact:  Cell: 830.955.0304
                     Karen Rockoff  Arborist  - TDA Certified
email:
klrockoff@yahoo.com
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OAK WILT - HOW IS THE DISEASE CAUSED?
                    
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Many people think that Oak Wilt Disease is caused by the sap sucking bark-beetle (Nitidulidae species). But that is not strictly true. It is actually a fungus called Ceratocystis fagacearum, which is the cause of trouble. The beetles are just one of the means by which the fungus can be transferred from tree to tree. The beetle carries the fungal spores from a spore matt developed only on a red oak that has succumbed from Oak Wilt . A sort of honey bee effect of gathering pollen. The disease can trans-locate through the roots systems at a rate of about a 100 feet per year.  Live oaks only spread the disease via inter-grafted root systems between trees. Live oaks propagate from ramets or buds that form on the root system. A grove or a Mott of live oaks is actually a clone of one tree and survival is guaranteed because the new tree has the support of a fully developed root system from it's clone parent so to speak.

During warm spells in the early spring the young beetles emerge and are able to fly several miles to find an oak tree and feed on the sap. If successful it gives off a scent to alert its little friends to the find. Incisions are made in the branches to reach the sap and this is be the beginning of the end for the tree because the beetles infect the sap with the fungal spores. Ingestation takes about four to six months and there are no noticeable effects of the disease until you see the start of the foliar effects.  The pathogen has to have a healthy living host to survive, it can not live in the soil or dead wood tissue. Also during pruning, fresh cut wounds through molecular evaporation emit an oak sap odor which is like a loud dinner bell to the beetle. The larger the wounds, the greater the molecular evaporation. When pruning oak trees these wounds should be painted immediately with a light application of a spray paint.

The fungus is similar to a yeast and this is carried along the vascular system in the tree sap. It excretes digestive substances which are toxic to the tree. The cells in the wall of the sap-vessels react to it by producing gum-filled enlargements ( tylosis, a white rubbery substance ), which then block the vessels. This possibly may be an effort of defense by the tree to control the spread of fungi, but in doing so it suffocates/starves itself. ( A defeatis attitude, kill yourself , kill the disease and  the effect is like a serious cholesterol problem in humans ) The flow of nutrients and water is stopped and soon the outwards signs of the disease can be noted:  yellowing leaves, tips of the leaves turn brown, and veinal necrosis (the main veinal rib turns brown, the area between the veins remains green or yellow) within a few weeks a dying branch or the entire tree. There are different forms of the fungus, which may exist side by side. One is non-aggressive, whereas the other causes the death of the tree in a short time.

The Fungicide "Propiconazole" 14.3 MEC    How does it work?

A Sterol biosynthesis Inhibitor

Sterols are essential compounds in the cells of all living organisms, components of cell membranes and other important anatomical features. Propiconazole possesses systemic and some curative properties against certain diseases, it penetrates and trans-locates, preventing fungal cell development, formation and growth throughout the plant by inhibiting sterol biosynthesis.

Propoiconazole is absorbed into the fungus where its two modes of action attack fungal cells at several sites altering the cell, thereby inhibiting sulfur-containing enzymes and disrupting fungal energy production. It has preventive activity, and is primarily active on mycelium with some anti-sporulant activity, and prevents spore germination.

The injection treatment is not a universal CURE, however it will extend the life of the tree, and is effective for inhibiting the disease in uninfected or newly infected trees. Designed for use on high-value trees in your landscape, trees should be selected for preventive treatment based on the risk of the disease pressure. The chemical residual in the tree is effective for about 24 months and preventive re-treatment should be considered and applied within the second and third year. Trees that were infected and are in a weakened condition should be retreated the following year.

Prevention is better than cure.

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