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Cleaning Pruning Tools to Prevent Oak Wilt

Because Austin oak wilt is such a devastating disease, prevention is the key. This is especially true since once a tree is exposed to the disease, there is very little that can be done to prevent its demise. Perhaps one of the easiest means of the prevention of oak wilt transmission is through the proper cleaning of pruning tools.

There are differing opinions on how best to clean pruning tools. However, some of the most common, if not controversial, disinfectants include:

Using a bleach solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. (Submerge blades or shears for at least 20 seconds.)
Diluted Lysol to 20%
Undiluted (full-strength) Listerine
Rubbing alcohol of at least 70%
Pine Sol

For more effective cleaning, consider using a scrub brush, in addition to the disinfectant, to clean the tools’ blades.

Because of the chemical potency of these cleaners, it is especially important to protect oneself when cleaning pruning tools. Approach cleaning even the smallest of tools with care. At a minimum, the use of plastic hand gloves and safety glasses should be used. Hand gloves protect one’s hands from chemical burn or excessive drying. Safety glasses protect one’s eyes from sloshing or splashing disinfectants or their fumes. Always be mindful that even disinfectants that have been diluted may still cause damage to the unprotected human body.

Of course, the chemicals used to clean one’s pruning tools may cause blades to become corroded. Be certain to use water to wash away the disinfectant after submerging and/or scrubbing. Once thorough cleaning is accomplished, some guidance advises allowing the tools to completely air dry, then oiling them. By doing so, some believe the overall quality of the tools remains intact in spite of the chemical exposure from cleaning.

An Austin tree trimming professional can provide invaluable insight into the appropriate care of tools so that chances for the spread of oak wilt are minimized or even eliminated.

Another simple preventative action that can be taken when cleaning pruning tools to prevent the spread of oak wilt is to wear protective foot covering. In this particular case, the implied protection is not for the individual, but for trees. If the possibility exists that healthy oaks may be affected by a proximal diseased tree, then the transmission of spores to unaffected areas may be decreased if work boots are covered either before being exposed to the oak wilt center or removed before leaving it.

As always, seeking the advice and assistance of an Austin tree care service is recommended for any questions or concerns one may have regarding the appropriate pruning techniques or methods of tool cleaning. Since prevention is the only surefire “treatment” for oak wilt, never hesitate to contact a professional arborist if uncertainties exist.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Austin tree service about replanting with new oaks or with a new species.'>

Replacing Trees Lost to Oak Wilt

Over recent years, many beautiful oak trees in Austin, Texas have been lost to the devastating effects of oak wilt. Oak wilt is caused by a fungus that clogs the water-conducting vessels of a tree, essentially depriving it of the nourishment it needs for survival. As a result of the lack of nourishment, the tree succumbs to death, first signaled by the wilted appearance of the leaves in the tree’s canopy.

Certainly, trees are a vital part of the environment and add beauty to the landscape as well. This argument is cause enough for their replacement. However, replacing trees is perhaps most important as determined solely by the volume of trees that are affected by and lost each year to the disease. The question then is not whether or not trees should be replaced, but with what species of trees? The guidance is a mixed bag.

Since the trees lost to oak wilt are undoubtedly oaks, many homeowners may desire to replace the oaks that are lost to the disease. This is a possibility. However, since red and live oaks are more susceptible to the disease, some arborists advise replacing the lost oaks by planting white oaks instead. This is because species of white oaks tend to be slightly less vulnerable to oak wilt than red and live oaks.

It is possible that red and live oaks can be replanted where previous red and live oaks were located and lost. However, it is quite important to follow the appropriate steps for helping to ensure the new trees’ survival. This may include trenching, a process whereby oak wilt centers are isolated in an effort to prevent the continued spread of oak wilt. Trenching also encompasses severing intertwined roots. This is equally as important as isolating the center because transmission of the disease is quite prevalent through the root connections of trees. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist for assistance. With his or her professional assistance, it is not impossible for new oaks to be replanted in the same vicinity as those that may have been lost to oak wilt.

Still, in spite of the loss of their oaks, some homeowners may desire to replace the trees, but do so with other species. It is important to consider those species which will best flourish in Austin’s natural climate, including temperatures, average annual rainfall, periodic drought-like conditions, etc. Considerations for possible tree replacement options should also be made for the size of the tree at maturity, possible hazards due to root depth and proximity to homes and electrical or phone lines, as well as the water and lighting needs of the tree as compared to what the landscape can provide. Simple research can assist you with determining and narrowing possible choices.

If questions or concerns remain following your research efforts about replacing lost trees with new oaks or with new species altogether, seek the expertise of an Austin tree care service to assist you with making your final decisions.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Differentiating Oak Wilt from Oak Decline

Oak wilt within Austin, Texas has become quite prevalent over recent years. With this prevalence, unfortunately, comes the loss of many oak trees. However, there are several diseases which can affect oaks, the effects of which can be similar to that of oak wilt and perhaps even a bit confusing. Oak decline is one such disease. Let’s examine ways in which to differentiate oak wilt and oak decline.

Oak wilt is a disease which produces a fungus that essentially clogs the water-conducting vessels of an oak. Without the fluidity of this vital element necessary for its survival, an oak will succumb to wilting–hence, the disease’s namesake–and eventually death. Generally, the disease is spread in one of two manners. First, interconnected root systems are frequently responsible for spreading the disease to healthy, previously unaffected oaks proximal to the diseased tree. Second, sap-feeding beetles are responsible for picking up the spores that produce the disease while feeding on an infected tree and transporting them to previously unaffected, but wounded trees when their feeding site changes. The spores are introduced to the wounded tree, thereby exposing it to the devastating effects of oak wilt. Spore mats, found under areas of cracked bark, are generally evidence of the exposure of a tree to oak wilt through the presence of sap-feeding beetles Although the timeline for the demise of a tree affected by oak wilt can vary based on the species, it typically succumbs quickly.

Oak decline is a disease in which several injurious stressors simultaneously affect and lead to the decline of a tree. These stressors may include prolonged drought, late spring defoliation, root fungi, and wood-boring insects. The most notable indicator of the presence of oak decline is deterioration of the canopy. Additionally, unlike oak wilt, trees affected by oak decline tend to retain their leaves, even after their death, and the leaves do not reflect the same patterns of necrosis that leaves of trees affected by oak wilt display. If removed, a dark stain on the outer bark of an affected tree gives visual to the site affected by the wood-boring insects. Another noteworthy and defining difference is that trees affected by oak decline may show evidence of the decline over an extended period of time, often years. If questions remain, an Austin tree trimming professional can assist with the examination of a tree’s branches and leaves to help determine the correct diagnosis.

Although there are notable differences between oak wilt and oak decline, there are also similarities that may cause some confusion. Consult an Austin tree care service for professional assistance in diagnosing your landscaping oaks.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Professional Testing for Oak Wilt

Over recent years, oak wilt has devastated a significant number of oak trees in Austin, Texas. This disease essentially clogs the water-conducting system of an oak tree, thereby depriving the tree of water. Without this key component of nourishment, the tree succumbs to death. Since there are several tree diseases that are similar to oak wilt, it is important to verify that the disease of an affected tree is in fact oak wilt. An arborist can likely validate the diagnosis of oak wilt simply based on the symptoms noted while in the field. However, if certainty remains questionable, the most indisputable method for confirming the disease is through professional laboratory testing.

Samples of oak must first be collected from a suspected diseased tree. To do this, first identify branches that are partially wilted. It is important that the selected branches not be completely wilted, dry, or dead or the laboratory testing may be ineffective. The leaves on the branch must be identified as symptomatic. For red and white oaks, this includes leaves that display a pattern of wilt from the margins inward toward the trunk of the oak. For live oaks, this includes leaves that display veinal necrosis, yellowed veins that eventually turn brown due to wilt and subsequent death. Once identified, collect a sample of the affected leaves, and place each in a resealable plastic bag.

The wilted tree branches themselves may also offer valuable diagnostic information. By examining a cross-sectional view of a branch, the presentation of sapwood discoloration is an excellent indicator of the presence of oak wilt. A longitudinal section may be necessary for the examination of red oaks. To examine a cross-sectional or a longitudinal section view, the bark must carefully be removed from the wilted branch. If discoloration is not noted in a particular area of the branch, it may be necessary to examine yet another section. It is important, however, not to remove all of the bark, as sections of the branch which include the bark may also be sent in for laboratory testing.

To submit branch samples for testing, select samples from as many as three symptomatic branches per tree. It is essential that the sapwood must be palpably moist and the inner bark alive and green. This may be checked by removing a small section of the outer bark. It is also essential that each sample be at least one inch in diameter and cut in a length of six to eight inches. Store the samples in a resealable plastic bag, and be certain that samples from each symptomatic tree are stored separately of one another. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist for assistance if you have any questions or concerns regarding the appropriate collection and storage of samples.

Samples collected in the field should be stored in a cool place, should never be exposed to direct sunlight, and should never be exposed to temperatures exceeding 90 degrees. Samples should also be mailed overnight delivery or delivered in person to the laboratory if possible. It is also advisable to send the samples early in the week in order to avoid delivery on the weekend and so that the testing can occur before the end of the work week. Samples should remain in the resealable plastic bags in which they were placed when collected in the field. Then, they should be mailed or delivered in a disposable ice chest with sufficient ice packs to keep the samples cool, moist, and viable.

If you suspect an oak is affected by oak wilt, consult an Austin tree care professional for further assistance.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Identifying Oak Wilt

Oak species are frequently affected by oak wilt in various geographical locations in the United States, including as far south as Texas. In particular, the city of Austin has seen its fair share of the devastating effects of oak wilt over recent years. The most important way to avoid the effects of oak wilt is to prevent it altogether. However, because it can be spread quite easily, learning to identify the disease is essential. Early identification of an affected tree may result in the preservation of other proximal trees.

One common way to identify oak wilt is by careful examination of patterns on the tree’s leaves. This is also known as foliar symptoms. There are particular differences between the foliar symptoms of live and red oaks. Diseased live oaks typically suffer from veinal necrosis. Essentially, the veins of a diseased live oak initially turn yellow, then turn brown. This is indicative of the diseased state of the oak. Defoliation occurs swiftly. Diseased red oaks typically display attributes of oak wilt based on maturity. Young leaves generally succumb to the disease easily and wilt quickly. Mature green leaves generally pale to a lighter shade of green and then bronze. The change in color, and overall tree health, is noted as it starts on the extremities of the leaves and works its way inward toward the center. Defoliation occurs slightly more slowly than with live oaks, taking anywhere from four to six weeks.

The presence of fungal mats is an indicator of oak wilt. Fungal mats are the powerhouse for the production of the spores responsible for oak wilt. Fungal mats are generally located underneath the tree bark. A distinctive crack in the tree’s bark typically denotes the presence of a fungal mat beneath it. It is not uncommon to also note a scent around the area of the fungal mat. It is frequently described as a fruity, fermented smell. This is the same scent that attracts the carriers of the disease-causing spores, the nitdulid.

If similar symptoms as described above are noted, it is quite possible that the culprit of such symptoms is indeed oak wilt. However, if uncertain, consult an Austin tree trimming specialist for more information and assistance. He or she can help you to determine the cause of a tree’s symptoms, including if the cause is oak wilt. Consider having an Austin tree care professional to assist you in appropriately collecting samples from any fungal mats that may be found on the tree and sending the samples in to a laboratory for confirmation of the disease. This information can be a valuable tool in helping to determine the best and necessary course of action to protect other surviving, healthy oaks proximal to any diseased one.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Causes of Oak Wilt

A variety of oak trees can be found in the landscape of Austin, Texas. However, oak trees are quite susceptible to a deadly tree disease known as oak wilt. This is a disease which clogs the water-conducting vessels of the tree, thereby depriving it of the essential element of water and essentially causing the oak to wilt unto its death. Unfortunately, many of the oaks in Austin have succumbed to this disease. Since oaks generally meet their demise once exposed to the disease, prevention is critical. Knowing the causes of the disease, whether primary or secondary, may assist in prevention of the disease altogether.

There are two primary, widely-recognized causes of oak wilt. The first is through spore-producing fungal mats, which attract vectors, namely nitdulid, a type of beetle. The fungal mats produce a fruity odor that attracts the beetles. The beetles feed on the fungal mats until there is nothing left to consume. Upon their physical transport to another feeding area, they carry with them spores from the fungal mats. The spores infiltrate the new feeding area. This exposes a once-healthy oak to oak wilt disease and, ultimately, its ruin. The second primary cause occurs underground through interconnected root systems. If a diseased tree’s roots are intertwined with a healthy tree’s roots, this usually spells disaster for the healthy tree. Unless appropriate action is taken to separate the roots, the chances of exposure to the disease are substantial.

There are also secondary causes of oak wilt. These causes comparably consist of underlying ways in which damage is done to the tree. If damage occurs in such a way that a wound is created, then it facilitates the fungal mats responsible for attracting vectors and the subsequent transmission of the disease by the vectors to healthy trees.

One secondary cause of oak wilt is damaged limbs. These may be from breakage from high winds during a storm or from inappropriate trimming or pruning techniques. Appropriate trimming and pruning are essential to the vitality of a tree, but perhaps more so when it comes to oak trees. Because oak wilt in Austin is quite menacing, so, too, is potential exposure of a healthy tree to the disease. If your oak tree has damaged limbs, secure an Austin tree trimming specialist immediately for professional trimming or pruning and appropriate wound dressing in order to prevent the spread of oak wilt.

Another secondary cause of oak wilt is through damage to the ground roots or the trunk. This may inadvertently occur through routine lawn maintenance. Nicks or abrasions may create a wound that eventually leads to oak wilt exposure. The same possibility exists for trees on property, whether public or private, where construction occurs. Heavy construction equipment carries the risk of damaging a tree and exposing it to the disease. If construction is planned or is ongoing on your property, consult a reputable Austin tree care service in order to preserve the health of your oaks.

Additional secondary causes of oak wilt include limbs near power lines or that are low-hanging over roadways and require trimming. Again, appropriate trimming or pruning techniques are necessary to ensure the sustainability of the oak. Another sometimes unnoticed secondary cause may include animal or termite damage. Because most animals or termites are relatively small and frequently only appear seasonally, the damage they sometimes cause may be gradual and easily overlooked.

Contact an Austin oak wilt professional with your questions or concerns about the disease, as well as the management of its primary and secondary causes, to preserve your oaks for years to come.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Oak Wilt and the Fungal Mat Connection

All manner of oaks including red oaks, white oaks, and live oaks, are susceptible to oak wilt. In very recent years, oak wilt has destroyed many oaks of various species in Austin, Texas. There is considerable information which explains specifics regarding the disease. Such information may define what oak wilt is, how it impacts oaks, how to prevent it, and how to manage circumstances when a tree is diagnosed with the disease so that proximal, healthy trees are unaffected. At the crux of the issue, however, is what is known as a fungal mat. The purpose of this article is to better understand the rather significant role fungal mats play in the onset and eventual diagnosis of oak wilt.

When an oak has wilted and died, it may produce a mat. On the mat are spores responsible for the fungus that produces and spreads oak wilt. Fungal mats expand in such a way underneath the bark that they cause the exposed outer bark of the affected oak to split open. The mats also produce a fermented, fruity aroma that attracts vectors, primarily small, sap-feeding beetles known as Nitidulid. The vectors feed on the sap, and as they do so, they inadvertently collect the spores. It is the accumulation of these spores by, and the unrestrained movements of, the vectors that allows the spores to be spread, exposing once healthy oaks to their likely demise.

Although oak wilt may be spread through interconnected root systems, the spread of the disease through vectors which feed on fungal mats is equally problematic. This is because the vectors constantly seek out feeding sources and unless controlled by some manner of insecticide are, again, virtually unrestrained in this process. Unfortunately, any oak that has suffered a wound produces wound sap to which, much like fungal mats, the vectors are innately attracted.

Wounds may come from a variety of sources. Environmental causes may include high winds, hail damage, or heavy snow or ice that breaks tree limbs. Man-made causes may include nicks from mowers, automobile damage to the tree, or inappropriate trimming. Consult an Austin tree trimming professional regarding appropriate trimming methods, the use of which will sustain the tree, preventing the formation of fungal mats, the subsequent unwanted infiltration of vectors, and the continued spread of oak wilt.

Once the vectors land on a wound to feed, the tree immediately becomes exposed to oak wilt. The spores germinate quickly, clogging the water- conducting vessels that are the lifeline to their continued viability. Therefore, the immediate painting of any fresh wound with a wound or latex paint is the most reliable way to prevent vectors from exposing a healthy oak to oak wilt.

There are many cyclical factors that contribute to oak wilt disease. Fungal mats and the spread of harmful spores through vectors are only a small fraction of the overall cycle. For additional questions or concerns about Austin oak wilt, oak wilt treatment, and overall evasion of this crippling disease, contact an Austin tree care professional for assistance.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Austin tree service or a professional Austin arborist for information and assistance regarding the appropriate methods of disposal. '>

Official Policy for Disposing of Wood Affected by Oak Wilt

Oaks are a prominent species of tree in Austin, Texas. However, in recent years, a considerable number of oaks in Austin have been destroyed by the disease known as oak wilt. Oak wilt is caused by a fungus which causes the water-conducting vessels of the tree to become clogged. As a result, this prevents all parts of the stem beyond the blockage from receiving much needed water for continued viability. In an attempt to bring these devastating effects under control, the city of Austin has adopted an official policy regarding the appropriate disposal of wood affected by oak wilt.

Chipping or shredding the wood from trees affected by oak wilt is an acceptable means of disposal. This is permissible because the wood dries when chipped or shredded. The fungus responsible for causing oak wilt, also known as Ceratocystis fagacearum, cannot thrive once the drying process begins. Much like other types of fungi, which require moisture to thrive, once the source of the moisture is depleted, the fungi is destroyed. In spite of the demise of the tree, this is an environmentally friendly means of disposal, as the chipped or shredded wood can serve another purpose through use as mulch.

Another acceptable means of disposal of wood affected by oak wilt, although perhaps a little less environmentally friendly, is burning. Burning affected wood will kill the Ceratocystis fagacearum. Again, the heat from the fire supplies a means of drying, depriving the fungus of the moisture it requires for survival. And since the fungus is not spread through the smoke, there is no cause for concern that this manner of disposal might potentially affect healthy oaks.

As per the city’s policy, any affected wood that is not chipped, shredded or burned shall be disposed of at a landfill. An Austin tree trimming specialist who is familiar with Austin oak wilt and the various appropriate means of disposal of affected wood can likely direct you to the landfills in your area that are prepared to receive diseased oaks for disposal.

In instances where diseased oaks are identified, but are not accessible for chipping, shredding, or burning, the policy indicates that the tree shall be girdled. Girdling occurs when a ring of bark and underlying tissue are removed from around the tree, generally for purposes of destroying it. Once the diseased tree is girdled, it is then treated with an herbicide for desiccation (or drying). Desiccation, of course, facilitates the destruction of the fungus by depriving it of its life-sustaining moisture. This is an especially important procedure if the diseased tree is inaccessible, but happens to be within the vicinity of healthy trees, which could be negatively impacted if the diseased tree remains untreated. Contact an Austin tree care professional to assist you with such a procedure for affected oaks on your private property.

As per the city’s policy, one final, acceptable means of disposal of affected wood is through the use of firewood. This is yet another environmentally friendly means of recycling the wood. However, city policy indicates that the firewood shall not be stored near healthy, unaffected trees and shall be stored under a clear plastic covering with the edges tightly secured, perhaps dug into the ground, so as to prevent any spore-carrying insects from spreading the disease to surrounding healthy trees. The plastic covering also provides a solarizing effect, which speeds the drying of the wood should any moisture remain. The policy recommends the use of clear plastic so that escape holes are not easily recognized by the disease-spreading insects.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

The Official Policy On the Prevention of Oak Wilt in Austin

The city of Austin, Texas contains many Live Oaks and variations of Red Oaks. However, in recent years, the city’s oaks have been heavily affected by oak wilt, a fungus-oriented disease, which causes the water-conducting vessels of the tree to become clogged and prevents all parts of the stem beyond the blockage from receiving much needed water for sustainability. Without the appropriate nutrients, the demise of the tree is inevitable. Unfortunately, oak wilt is also quite contagious. In an effort to help contain the continued spread of the disease, the city of Austin has developed an official policy regarding the prevention of trees affected by oak wilt.

Prevention begins with knowledge. Therefore, each city employee or contractor who works on any project in which the potential spread of oak wilt may exist receives and is required to read and understand the city’s official policy on the disease. Such employees and contractors may include project managers and equipment operators. The responsibility to provide a written copy of the city’s policy on oak wilt extends to individual city departments as well. If the possibility for the spread of the disease exists to any degree, then city departments are required to provide workers with the written policy before work commences.

Prevention policy also indicates that employees should avoid trimming or pruning oaks as much as possible from March 1st through June 1st. Austin tree trimming should only be completed during those times in which the city has deemed it safest to do so, which typically includes when the insect population responsible for transferring the fungus from tree to tree is most dormant or when the fungal spore production is minimal.

The city of Austin has also determined that any trimming or pruning wounds to oaks shall be treated immediately to prevent the spread of oak wilt. The use of a non-phytotoxic (not toxic to plants) wound dressing shall be used on injured oaks, including injuries to stumps and roots, both above ground and underground. Contact an Austin tree removal professional with your concerns if you suspect that the stump or roots of a tree on your personal property may be affected by oak wilt.

A final prevention policy requires the disinfecting of equipment used for pruning, sawing, or other required tools. This policy also speaks to the frequency with which disinfecting should occur and includes before work commences, work performed between individual trees, and before leaving a work site after work is completed. According to the city policy, acceptable forms of disinfectant are aerosol disinfectant or 10 percent bleach-water solution. Although current research does not support that doing so will prevent the transference of the disease, disinfecting of all equipment is a policy requirement of the city of Austin.

The city of Austin has established these preventative policies so that the substantial oak population within the city, whether on public or personal property, can thrive. The need for such policies shows not only the contagiousness and the extent of the widespread effects of oak wilt, but also the city’s resolve to bring the disease under control and, with time and effort, prevent it altogether. Oaks add value to the city of Austin, and the city values the oaks in return. If you live in Austin, are a homeowner with oaks growing on your property, and desire to be proactive with regard to the health and viability of your oak trees, just as the city has, contact and seek the expertise of an Austin tree care professional, who can assist you in this endeavor.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Treating Oak Wilt

Oak trees are a valuable addition to any landscape in Austin. However, in the recent past, many of these majestic trees have succumbed to a disease known as oak wilt. This disease is responsible for the destruction of oaks by the thousands. Although there is no known cure for the disease, there are methods for treating it, which may prolong the life of the tree. Let’s examine some of the methods for oak wilt treatment.

One of the primary ways in which oak wilt is spread is through the root system. An infected tree can easily pass the disease along to a healthy tree through an interconnected root system. This may be prevented if a buffer is put into place. A buffer severs the interconnected root system, thereby protecting a healthy oak from an infected one. Recommendations for creating a barrier include establishing a trench at least 100 feet from the nearest oak wilt-infected tree. Using the appropriate machinery, the trench should be dug at least four feet deep and then backfilled.

Another primary way in which oak wilt is spread is through sap-feeding beetles. Because these insects are more active during specific times of the year in specific locations, pruning or mowing injuries, such as cuts or wounds, may make the perfect feeding place for the beetles and, consequently, the perfect place for infestation of the fungus that causes oak wilt. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist with questions concerning the appropriate times to prune an oak.

Since oak wilt is caused by a fungus, treatment typically includes the use of a fungicide. The fungicide is applied to the trunk using one of two methods: macro-injection or micro-injection. The essential differences between these two methods are the amount of water used in conjunction with the fungicide and the size of the holes drilled into the tree for treatment. Macro-injection requires more water and more wounding to the oak, and micro-injection requires less water and less wounding to the oak. However, both treatments typically use the same amount of fungicide. An Austin tree care professional can address any questions you may have about which method of treatment is better for your oaks.

You may prevent oak wilt by immediately covering any cuts or wounds. This can be accomplished using a wound paint and is especially important during those times of the year when insect activity is increased. By applying wound paint, a barrier both covers the injury, as well as establishes a protective layer between the wound and the fungal spores beetles may carry. This protective barrier may prevent transmission of the disease through the open wound.

Finally, another protective measure that may be taken to prevent the spread of oak wilt is to carefully examine firewood. If the origin of the firewood or its condition is in question, research suggests that it is best to cover the wood with clear plastic and secure it by digging it into the ground, thereby preventing the spread of insects if there is an infestation. To provide better protection for localized healthy oaks, use the firewood the year it is harvested. The fire will destroy any remaining spores or insects. Additionally, for oaks that die during spring or the early part of summer, dieoff should be complete, and the firewood, therefore, able to be used, by fall.

Although oak wilt has become increasingly prevalent in Austin, there are actions which can be taken to treat it or perhaps prevent it altogether. Seek the expertise of an Austin tree service to assist you in effective prevention and treatment.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.