Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt

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Oak Wilt

Are you new to Westcreek? You may want to read this article.

We live in an area where oak wilt has been confirmed. Oak wilt is a tree disease that can be spread two ways: underground through connected roots and overland through wounds or pruning cuts. It is caused by a fungus that infects the conducting tissue of the tree, leading to a rapid “wilt” characterized by veinal necrosis and canopy thinning. If untreated, live oaks usually die with a few weeks. Live oaks and red oaks are the most commonly infected trees in Austin.

Live oak trees up to 200 feet apart can be connected through their roots systems. The fungus can travel from sick trees through grafted roots and infect new trees, making to manage the underground spread of the fungus.

The impact of oak wilt can also be managed through fungicide injections. Trees that are in good condition within 100’ of a symptomatic tree are the best candidates for injection. Trees that are showing some canopy loss and signs of stress my survive with an injection treatment but are not likely to resume a healthy and full canopy. Proactive tree health car and oak wilt treatment options are unique to each tree, landscape and property owner. A qualified Arborist can help you decide management strategies according to your relative risk of oak wilt, the condition of your trees, your landscape priorities and budget. To get help, visit: texasoakwilt.org/vendors.

Injecting trees with fungicide does not stop the spread of the fungus through the root system, it can still move through the root system and infect adjacent trees. This makes it very important to work with neighbors and inform each other when oak wilt has been identified. People are more likely to treat their trees preventatively and save tree canopy if they aware of their risk of oak wilt.

When pruning oak trees, sanitize tools and spray all wounds immediately (any type of paint works). This limits the risk that an insect carrying fungal spores may land on a fresh pruning cut and create a new infection center. 

For additional information visit: austintexas.gov/oakwilt

We suspect there may be oak wilt on Summerset by Hill Forest.