Early detection and prompt action are essential for successful management of oak wilt. The specific measures taken depend on several circumstances but should include appropriate combinations of the following:
1. Prevent New Infections
- Cut and dispose of diseased red oaks immediately.
- Avoid wounding oak trees, including pruning, from February through June.
- Sterilize/sanitize all pruning equipment between trees and paint all wounds and fresh stumps regardless of season.
- Handle oak firewood cautiously, burn all firewood before spring, and never store unseasoned oak wood from infected trees near healthy oaks.
- Cover unseasoned firewood (from infection centers and unknown origins) with clear plastic and bury the edges of the plastic.
2. Stop Spread through Root Connections
- Install a trench at least 4 ft deep and 100 ft beyond the perimeter of infection centers (last symptomatic tree) to break up root connections.
- Cut or uproot all trees within the 100-ft barrier (except those injected with fungicide).
3. Inject High-value Oaks with Fungicide
- Identify susceptible, high-value oak trees in proximity to expanding oak wilt infection centers.
- Consult a trained and licensed arborist (with certified applicator’s license) for treatment of susceptible trees with injections of propiconazole (AlamoTM).
4. Plant Resistant Trees
- Plant trees that are resistant to oak wilt and adapted to central Texas.
- Favor a diversity of tree species.
- Avoid wounding susceptible oaks during planting.