What do you know about a tree with oak wilt in Southern Maryland? Learn about some techniques for saving these trees if it’s at all possible.

Oak wilt is a type of vascular wilt disease. While it can attack all species of oak trees, it’s most common in red oaks. Once the disease enters the tree, it can spread rapidly, killing the tree in a matter of weeks.

Southern Maryland homeowners want to make sure their trees are as healthy as possible, and that means looking out for problems like oak wilt. Today, we’re sharing if an affected tree can be saved, and how to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.

What Is Oak Wilt?

Before we dive into how to identify and prevent it, let’s answer a basic question: What is oak wilt?

This disease has been identified in more than 20 states within the U.S. It’s a type of fungus (Bretiziella fagacearum) that usually travels via underground root grafts, spreading among neighboring trees and beetles. In most regions, it starts in the spring and will continue into the summer.

To date, no fully effective treatment has been identified. However, there are preventative measures you can take to prevent the fungus from spreading to other trees in your area. As long as the treatment is applied in time, it can help stop the spread of the disease.

The Signs

Not sure if your tree has fallen victim to this disease? Signs of oak wilt include:

  • Leaf dieback
  • Defoliation
  • Bark cracking

You’ll need to confirm the presence of the disease before applying any treatment to neighboring trees. Contact your local tree services company to ensure that’s what you’re dealing with. They can perform tests to identify the pathogen and verify symptoms.

Preventing Oak Wilt

The best course of action against oak wilt is to prevent it. Here are a few steps you can take to keep it away from your trees:

  • Do not prune your oak trees during the warm season
  • If you do cut them and see a spore, use a pruning seal to prevent the spread
  • Hire a qualified tree services company to help monitor and manage your trees

If you live in Southern Maryland, our team is here to help you stay one step ahead of tree diseases. You can learn more about our services here.

Treatment

As soon as you notice any signs of oak wilt, take action immediately to save the rest of your neighboring trees. Your tree company can apply a systemic fungicide to non-affected oaks via trunk injection. This fungicide attacks the Bretiziella fagacearum fungus and helps slow the spread of the disease.

It’s best to apply the treatment in the fall and spring. Focus on all trees within 30 feet of the affected tree.

Prevent Oak Wilt at Home

Oak wilt can turn a beautiful, towering oak tree into a disease-ridden disaster. By trusting your oaks to a qualified local tree company, you can treat against it and keep your yard healthy.

We’re experts at identifying and preventing tree diseases throughout Southern Maryland. Contact us today to learn more about our services and receive a free quote.