Oak wilt can be treated with proper measures and proper diagnosis. If you suspect that your trees may have oak wilt or you have oak wilt in your neighborhood, it is important to contact a reputable arborist familiar with Oak Wilt or the Texas Forest Service in your area. For Kerrville, Boerne, Bandera area call Mark Duff at 1-830-257-7744 or e-mail - email@example.com. For Johnson City, Stone Wall, and Fredericksburg contact: Robert Edmonson 1-830 868-7949 or e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org. Both are very knowledgeable and active in the Oak Wilt Suppression Project.
There is a growing concern about information among homeowners and landowners who may have been misinformed about the fungus and treatment. The concern about misguided information and misinterpretation is legitimate. It is my fear that they may be misguided and misinformed to undertake and apply expensive and useless foliar type treatments on their oaks under the guise of preventing or even curing oak wilt, applying the proper oak wilt macroinfusion protocols recommended and prescribed by Texas A. & M. Misdiagnosis of the disease of erroneous practices can be costly to homeowners and landowners alike and will not save their trees. (See article Oak Wilt Treatments)
The chances of getting oak wilt can be greatly reduced by following certain guidelines by the Texas Forest Service and Texas A & M. Beware of unseasoned firewood whether it is live oak or red oak, as new oak wilt centers have been started in just this fashion. Insects and fungus mats on unseasoned firewood can be a source of inoculums for new oak wilt centers. Firewood should be cured thoroughly for at least six months through the summer heat. The pathogen is destroyed when the moisture content of the firewood is below 38%.
Just because an oak tree dies or looks sick does not mean it has oak wilt. This is a common misdiagnosis and is just an easy way to cause undue panic. The problem could be herbicides, drought stress, insects construction damage, Hypoxylon or other wilt diseases. This is often the case for genuine oak wilt misdiagnosis. The most diagnostic symptoms of oak wilt in the live oaks is a symmetrical brown discoloration along the midrib and lateral veins of the leaves (like a fishbone effect) from infected trees. You can also see tip burn (edges turning brown) or a marbling effect of different colors and shades of green, yellows and browns. Oak trees having been properly diagnosed as having oak wilt can be treated.
Correct pruning procedures can prevent oak wilt. If possible, only prune your oak trees during the coldest days of winter, November to mid-February, and the hottest days of summer from mid-June to early October. The recommended period to avoid and an absolute “No - No” to pruning oak trees near infection centers is from mid-February to mid-June. However, keep in mind that this is just a rule of thumb and the conditions you are really trying to avoid is mild, moist weather. Your professional tree service is aware of these factors and will take all necessary precautions to paint wounds and sterilize equipment at all times during the year. Since this disease only affects oak trees, the recommendations do not apply to other species of trees. You should paint all oak pruning wounds immediately with just a simple black spray paint, which acts as a physical barrier to seal the wood and keep insects out. The cut or wound is most active to the beetles that spread oak wilt fungus during the first 24 to 36 hours, and after 72 hours old painting will not help.
Oak wilt is a serious problem and the homeowner/landowner should take into account the risk factor and value of trees becoming infected with oak wilt. In dealing with any serious problem, being well informed, not being scared by incomplete information or misinformation, and knowing what to do to prevent the disease from affecting trees in your landscape is the best medicine you can have for your peace of mind.
Scenic Hills Nursery specializes in the treatment and prevention practices of oak wilt, and a total tree care service for the Texas Hill Country. This includes oak wilt inspection, diagnosis and analysis, preventative and therapeutic macroinjection. We assist in providing trenching services and laying out trench lines. In addition, we provide tree and stump removal, and trimming and tree replacement. We also provide organic tree fertilization, foliar and deep root injection as well as ball moss and insect control.