45
      Friday
      75 / 54
      Saturday
      78 / 56
      Sunday
      80 / 59

      Red Oak Trees at risk of Oak Wilt Disease

      Oak Wilt is a fungus that kills red oaks within weeks.

      It develops under firewood that beetles feed off of. Beetles then spread the fungus between red oak trees.

      Bob Heyd with the Department of Natural Resources says it can easily spread.

      "It will plug up all the water and food transport mechanisms in the trees. The trees die. The bad news is once you have oak wilt if you have other oak in the area and are growing in association, those roots cross. When they cross, it often grafts underground. So what will happen is it will move from this tree to neighboring trees," Heyd said.

      It also spreads through firewood that is infected. Officials say most cases of red oaks getting this fungus are seen in Menominee county.

      Paul Albert, the Marquette City Arborist says avoid cutting your oak between now and October.

      "That's the period of time when the beetles would be active. They would be drawn to a tree that's been pruned or otherwise had its bark open to some sort of damage. So if you could avoid that sort of damage in that period of time that's the best way to protect your trees," Albert said.

      If a red oak is pruned or damaged cover it with a latex based paint that way beetles do not infect it.

      Look for green leaves turning brown. At that point the tree will have to be cut roots and all then burned.