An Integrated Approach

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.