Oak Wilt is a vascular disease and it attacks all Oaks. The disease plugs the water conducting (or sapwood) tissue, interrupting the flow of water, leading to wilting and sometimes death. Fungicides can be injected to protect the tree, but as with any chemical treatment, the results can be inconsistent.
An easy way to prevent Oak Wilt is to prune outside of the disease transmittal time frame. Sap feeding beetles can spread the fungus from tree to tree, so it is important to avoid open pruning wounds during the growing season when beetles are in flight. So winter pruning on oaks is preferred.
This week we begin our annual schedule of oak pruning on both courses. It takes about one week to complete those trees scheduled: 10 - 20% of the native oak inventory.