Owning a tree can be stressful, for many reasons, oak wilt not even being in the top ten. That said, wilting oak disease is a real concern, and the end result is about as bad as it gets for a tree owner: a dead tree.
You need to be able to spot the signs and know what steps to take when this disease starts to manifest.
Luckily for you, Tree Worx Florida is one of the leading experts in tree maintenance in the state. And we take oak wilt very seriously. Join us, today, as we put Florida’s oak wilt problem under the spotlight.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
While oak wilt might not be the most common form of tree illness in the state of Florida, it’s a devastating disease for oak tree owners.
A lab can diagnose oak wilt by examining its associated fungus. Some telltale signs of oak wilt that you can look out for at home, though, include:
Veinal Necrosis: Leaves may go pale, and their vein systems go dead. You’ll be able to see this taking place as a dark line creeps along the length of the leaf, starting at its stem and moving up towards its tip.
In Red Oaks, Oily Green Leaves: An oily matt covering may also form over the leaves of a tree. This substance, which starts off a green color, will rapidly begin to turn red or brown. It’s this and the veinal necrosis that make checking your plant’s leaves so important in getting an early diagnosis of oak wilt.
Dropped Foliage: Not to be mistaken for normal leaf loss, especially around February and March, defoliating trees are an indicator of diseases. Rapid shedding should be monitored closely and is usually accompanied by veinal necrosis.
Death: An infected Red Oak will typically die off inside of a few months of it being infected. This may sound a little extreme, but it is a good indicator of a bigger overall problem – many of your other trees may be infected. You’ll need the services of an expert to find out more.
The first step upon confirming an oak wilt region at work in your garden is to quarantine the trees themselves. The biggest culprit in the spread of oak wilt is transmission through root spread.
Start by digging a ditch at least 100 feet away from the tree in question, at least 48 inches down into the ground. Fill the trench immediately. This will help to stop the tree’s roots from spreading and sever the connecting roots already at play between the tree and any of its neighbours.
Then prune your trees of any affected branches (though try not to prune from February through June), and remove all offending branches, twigs, leaves, and small trees which you’ve cut down. Be ruthless about it – you can’t afford to have this condition spread. Cover up any wood from suspicious trees. Don’t burn it, lest youoak spread any more spores.
Finally, there’s injecting your tree with specially designed fungicides, marketed for this exact use. Many of these work better as preventative treatments but can go a long way used as a medication after the fact, as well.
Oak wilt isn’t a condition you’ll have much reason to worry about in Florida. That said, anything can (and often does) happen. If you think you’re picking up on some of the symptoms outlined above, make sure to contact a professional to examine your tree.
Interested in finding that professional? Get in touch with us, today, for expert tree maintenance services you can rely on.