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Preventing Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt is a major disease affecting a variety of oak trees in central and northern Texas. It is often identified by rapid leaf wilting or discoloration. This destructive disease spreads through the root system of trees or by insects carrying fungal spores from already affected oaks to open wounds on healthy trees. A tree wound is considered any damage to the wood occurring either naturally by wind, hail, or wildlife; or man-made through pruning or construction. The spread of this disease peaks in the spring when pruning, pollenating, and tree growth is most prevalent.

The Oak Wilt Information Partnership created some tips on how you can reduce the risk of Oak Wilt spreading to your trees when pruning:

    • Use a 10% bleach solution or Lysol to clean your pruning tools between pruning sites and trees
    • Promptly apply wound dressing or latex paint to any fresh tree wounds, including limb removal, stumps, and pruning cuts
    • Avoid pruning or cutting your oaks during the spring season if possible

If you suspect your trees might be affected by the Oak Wilt fungus, the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension website​ has information on managing and reducing tree loss due to Oak Wilt.

For More Information:

http://texasoakwilt.org/​

http://plantdiseasehandbook.tamu.edu/landscaping/eight-step-program-to-oak-wilt-management/​​