This fungal disease moves through the vascular system of the trees. This disease is carried to the tree by small beetles that were recently feeding on infected trees. These beetles are infected to fresh wounds located on oaks, these wounds tend to be from storm damage and pruning. After the fungus moves into the vascular tissue the tree reacts by attempting to wall off the spread by plugging cells; this is what causes the branches to wilt.
The initial signs of oak wilt are the rapid wilting of leaves and the complete loss of leaves starting at the top of the tree. This disease can also be spread through root grafts of trees of the same species, causing all the nearby trees to be affected very quickly. Red oaks tend to be affected more than white oaks; white oaks can live up to two years with this infection compared to red oaks that only have a lifespan of a few weeks after infection.
There are several treatment options available for oak wilt. Fill out the form of this page or contact our office to consult with an arborist today!