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:
Prevent New Infections
- Remove and dispose of oak wilt-infected red oaks immediately.
- Avoid wounding oak trees, including pruning, from February through June.
- Sterilize/sanitize all pruning equipment between trees.
- Paint all wounds and fresh stumps immediately 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.
Diversify Your Landscape
- Plant trees that are native and/or adapted to your area.
- Favor a diversity of tree species.
- Avoid wounding oaks during planting.
- Find the right tree for your property here.
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).
- Find trenching vendors here.
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.
- Find injection vendors here.