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Oak Wilt Disease

Oak Wilt Disease

Oak Wilt Disease

WHAT YOU’LL SEE… Oak Wilt is a serious problem throughout southern Michigan and has been found in mid-Michigan. We travel throughout the state including Oakland County, Livingston County, Washtenaw County, Emmet County, Charlevoix County and Grand Traverse County. First of all, inspect for evidence of open wounds caused by pruning or storm damage. Symptoms in recently infected trees include the following: leaf margin browning progressing inward and from the leaf tips to the leaf bases; leaves on branches may appear to be wilting: some leaves may defoliate green or brown while others remain attached; vascular discoloration in the sap may or may not be present. Proper diagnosis is key, as these symptoms are common with many problems.

Our team of Certified Arborists have the expertise to identify and control Oak Wilt Disease anywhere in Michigan, contact us now!

THE REASON FOR THE PROBLEM… is that several species of picnic beetles are attracted to the fresh wounds caused by trimming and storm damage, and their activity transmits the fungus to healthy, recently pruned oaks from nearby diseased trees. The disease is most serious for members of the Red Oak family, including Red Oak, Scarlet Oak and Black Oak, as these trees will die within one or two months. White Oaks are also susceptible, but will have a slower rate of decline. Oak Wilt Disease can also be spread through root systems below the surface when several oak’s roots become grafted together.

THE BEST WAYS TO CONTROL THIS PROBLEM… is to prune your Oak trees only from mid October to Late April. Dr. Roberts from Michigan State University confirms that picnic beetles are really active when the temperatures are warm from May through early September. The health of your Oak tree is at the greatest risk during the warm season months when they are injured, particularly by pruning, and through storm damage. Anyone who prunes oaks during May, June, July and August is definitely taking some serious risks, even though such practices might have been acceptable previously. May, June and July are the months posing the greatest risk of infection

Other alternatives include trenching around the infected tree down through the root zone to prevent the fungus from traveling through grafted root systems. Also, if your Oak is hit by lighting, wind or other storm damage, be sure to paint and seal the open wounds as soon as possible. Finally, careful removal of the newly dying Oak trees should be done as soon as possible so long as the root system has been trenched preventing any transfer of infected water between the trees.

We can help by… injecting the tree trunk with a systemic fungicide to control the disease and prevent further damage. Early detection in the area is key to success before the disease has made it to your property. Although we used to drill trees in the 80’s and 90’s, Contender’s tree experts will implement a no drill method that has been utilized by many leading tree experts across the United States for the last 15 years. This injection method is facilitated by very fine needles allowing the tree to close up and recover much faster. The product and its carrier are superior and have proven to us that we can prevent Oak Wilt. We have not lost an Oak tree yet!


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What you’ll see…is wilting leaves and dieback of branches, often one at a time or on one side of the tree. This can occur over a number of years, with remiss...

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