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Oak wilt is a fungus that affects many varieties of oak trees. The most common tree that succumbs to this disease is the Northern Red Oak. While white and burr oaks can get oak wilt it can take several years to show any signs of this disease. The disease is most commonly spread by root grafting, but there is evidence that insects might also be spreading this disease.
The picture to the right shows how the disease appears on leaves. In most cases, as the fungus spreads within the tree the leaves fall off while they are still green. The disease spreads so fast that leaves can fall in a matter of days. This disease will continue to live in the soil for 3 years, or more, without a host plant.
Most effective treatments for oak wilt are done via trunk injection. This disease has to be treated preventatively, for red oaks, as no options are available once the disease is present; White and burr oaks can be treated once the disease appears due to their ability to better fight this disease. The disease completely shuts down the cambium layer of the tree and no water, nutrients, or medication can work through the clogged areas of the tree. At Arbor Doctor we use the best treatment options from Arborjet.
Leaves from a Red Oak that have oak wilt fungus.
Some useful links to learn about Oak Wilt: