Trees are an object of supreme beauty that brings a sense of pride and character to any property. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, they also offer a wealth of additional benefits. They can help reduce the cost of heating and cooling as well as increase the curb appeal of a property. Trees also benefit the environment by reducing pollution and providing refuge to local wildlife. If you happen to have oak trees on your property, it is especially important to make sure your trees undergo general maintenance and tree care. One of the most common problems landowners with oak trees face is oak wilt. Five Star Tree Services is here to let you know how to spot and protect your green friends from this debilitating tree ailment.
What Is Oak Wilt?
Oak wilt is a very aggressive form of tree fungus that attacks the oak species in particular. It grows on the outer sapwood of the tree and slowly starts to sap away nutrients and water from the tree itself. Left untreated, oak wilt can cause the tree to dieback or even expire completely. Oak wilt targets healthy oak trees, mature oak trees, and stressed oak trees in equal measure. It is easiest to spot the symptoms of oak wilt in the early spring or summer. The most common signs of oak wilt are bronze and wilting foliage.
Where Does Oak Wilt Start?
Most oak wilt will start along the tips of the branches and the top of the oak tree. One reason it may take so long to spot a problem is that it begins out of the usual line of sight. Most homeowners will notice a sudden decline in the health of a usually healthy tree that starts along its crown.
Another sign of oak wilt is when the outer side of the tree bark starts to develop gum. This gum attracts other pests such as birds, insects, and squirrels who then carry the fungus from sick trees to healthy trees. Along with spores, the fungus can also spread through the root system of one oak tree to the other, but it is hard to notice unless you happen to be digging around the trees for another reason.
When Are Oak Trees Most Susceptible?
Healthy and stressed oak trees are equally prone to catching oak wilt, but is it more likely to occur in the spring. It is always best to avoid pruning oak trees in the spring to reduce the chance of new fungal infections or for infections from other trees being spread to healthy trees. Wounds or environmental damage during the spring should be cared for by professionals to help reduce the chances of oak wilt infection.
Is There A Cure For Oak Wilt?
There is no cure for oak wilt, so the best method is prevention. Avoid pruning and damage during growing seasons and stick to winter pruning in Richmond Hill to cut down on infection rates. If you do have an oak tree that is showing signs of oak wilt, the best course of action is to have it removed to prevent the fungus from spreading to other trees. If you think your oak trees may be showing signs of oak wilt, give Five Star Tree Services a call at (416) 990-3355 for an in-person assessment today.