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Oak wilt is a serious and often deadly vascular disease of oaks. The fungal pathogen, Bretziella fagacearum (formerly Ceratocystis fagacearum), is known to occur in North America, but its origin is currently unknown. The pathogen is distributed throughout the Midwest and Texas. Over the years, and with variable frequency, it has been reported from the majority of the 88 Ohio counties.

What the Pathogen Does

The fungus grows into and throughout the water conductive tissues (that is, the sap wood) of the host. The fungus plugs the vessels with its own body (mycelium) and spores, but it also causes a defensive reaction by the tree to stop the fungal spread by actively plugging its own vessels. These processes interfere with water uptake and cause a wilting syndrome which often results in death of the tree.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments are usually not warranted, due to the high cost of intervention. However, application of systemic fungicides is an option when highly valuable trees are threatened by infected neighbors, or whenever a high risk of infection exists.

Learn more about Oak Wilt Disease and how to prevent it. https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/plpath-tree-02

Give us a call or contact us online if you suspect your tree(s) have been infected. We’ll be glad to inspect your trees and offer treatment options. https://www.helpfortrees.com/