Trees and Oak Wilt
Oak Wilt is a fungus that is prevalent in parts of the North East middle-Southern states. It attacks the water-carrying arteries of the tree and clogs them. Live Oaks, Red Oaks, and several other Oak species are affected. Some Live Oaks may live a year or more but the Red Oaks die quickly, usually within a few weeks to a few months. Common symptoms include "veinal necrosis", by which the leaves develop yellow to reddish-brown coloration of their veins. Oak Wilt spreads primarily in two ways. Local spread can occur through root systems, but can also spread great distances carried by specific beetles attracted to the oak sap. Any wound to the tree releases oak sap and potentially attracts the beetle. Control and protection are the primary defenses against Oak Wilt. Infected Red Oaks should be removed immediately. Burning, burying or open-air drying kills the fungus. Trenching down four feet around infected trees has halted local root spread. Any pruning of oaks should be treated with a proper pruning paint such as Tree Kote. Paint seals the wound and acts as a barrier to the beetles.