Live Oak Wilt is affecting trees in 65 Texas counties. Chemical tree treatment, cutting and bulldozing are often the suggested remedies, but what actually stops the spread of this devastating fungus?
Oak wilt, specifically live oak wilt, is a highly invasive fungus and it’s one of the most destructive tree diseases throughout the country. Affecting up to 25 states specifically here in Texas, it’s devastating 65 counties with the concentration in the hill country which is very unfortunate because the hill country is one of the most beautiful areas throughout Texas.
Now, oak wilt can be transferred one of three ways:
First, it can be transferred by insects, such as sap beetles, which are known carriers of the fungus and often inadvertently spread it from one tree to another.
Secondly, it can be passed from tree to tree through their root system. Oak trees will have root systems that interconnect underground and it can be passed from tree to tree.
Thirdly, it can be passed by a contaminated chainsaw when pruning or cutting affected oak trees. The fungus can actually stick to the chainsaw and then affect a healthy tree.
Unfortunately, cutting down or bulldozing affected trees does not stop the spread and even tree treatment won’t stop the spread. Only by completely severing the roots of an affected tree can you stop the spread to a healthy tree.
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