White Oak are rarely planted anymore. The only places that you find these trees are in forests that are covered with white oak. White oak are very well known for the disease that they get. Ok so you have an oak but you need to know what kind of oak you have. White oaks are more resistant to oak wilt so they can live years with this disease and so little to no effect. But all oaks look the same right? Wrong. White oaks leaves are rounded on the end but look like an oak leaf. Red oak and pin oak have pointed ends. Probably more known then the tree itself is oak wilt.
Oak wilt is a fungus disease that attacks the white oak and has caused mass devastation to the white oak population. If you have a white oak in your yard it will most likely get oak wilt. Not being the bearer of bad news but this disease has spread itself out so much that it will most likely affect every untreated white oak. This disease is usually spread by what is known as root grafting. This is a fancy phrase for the roots touch each other. Often oak wilt works through a forest and kills all the trees.
Oak wilt is treatable at just about any stage of the disease. Even if nearly all of the leaves have shed from the tree the proper treatment will completely save this tree.
Here are some signs that your white oak has oak wilt:
Leaves are starting to brown
Sections are dying out (usually right or left half)
Recently we have had problems with Two-Lined Chestnut borer in all oaks. This includes white oaks that are in forests and in rural homes in cities all accross the state of Minnesota. Major problems have popped up in the South Metro area. Two-Lined chestnut borer is found all around the state. The main problem with this insect is that the symptoms look very similar to that of oak wilt. There are a couple things that you should know that makes it easy to diagnose if you have oak wilt or two-lined chestnut borer.
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