Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Juzwik, J, Appel, DN, MacDonald, WL and Burks S. 2011. A group of counties in the NW Lower Peninsula do have a pot of Federal money they are using to help land-owners stop disjunct little patches of Oak Wilt from spreading, via mapping and then trenching. Oak wilt was first identified in the 1940s and is now widespread across Michigan. The trench separated the root systems of trees that are or may be infected with oak wilt (inside the trench) from those that are still unaffected (outside the trench). Binoculars can help with early detection. Browning leaves concentrated in the lower portion of a tree often result from a foliar disease called anthracnose. The exotic fungus requires live tissue, so, once the trees are dead, the fungus is gone, too. If possible, please take one or more photos of the invasive species you are reporting. These processes interfere with water uptake and cause a wilting syndrome which often results in death of the tree. Bur oaks die between one and seven years after infection, while white oak… Certain sap-feeding beetles can carry spores to healthy trees during the growing season. Oak wilt is deadly disease that affects all species of oaks (Quercus) found in Minnesota. Ryan Wheeler, an invasive species biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said the disease can weaken white oaks and kill red oak trees within weeks. More than 266,000 oak trees were infected by oak wilt fungus between 2007 and 2016 in Minnesota. The entire tree dies within a few weeks. In red oaks, oak wilt is almost always lethal and death can occur in as little as one month. Long-range spread is difficult to predict but most recently was linked increasing the north eastern limit of C. fagacearum by 300km (2). With the ultimate goal of minimizing OW spread and the loss of Michigan oak resources by evaluating and distributing clear, consistent and science-based messages to educate all industries involved with tree-related work, and for the public at large. The fungus grows into and throughout the water conductive tissues (that is, the sap wood) of the host. 2. The best way to deal with oak wilt is prevention. *The fungus that causes oak wilt has been taxonomically re-classified and has been placed into a new genus and is now known as Bretziella fagacearum (Bretz) Z.W.deBeer, Marinc., T.A.Duong & M.J.Wingf., previously it was called Ceratocystis fagacearum (4). The decline of oaks is an aesthetic blight across the landscape and also causes devastating ecosystem damage (3). However, when the sap-feeding beetles are active, immediate application of a sealant will prevent them from reaching freshly exposed tissues. A group of sap-feeding beetles is attracted to these sweet-smelling spore mats. 1), is responsible for the widespread decline of oaks across the United States (24 states; 829 counties) (1).It is particularly devastating to trees in the red oak group, which can succumb to this disease within four weeks of infection. Overland spread is eliminated by removing all oak trees within the infected epicenter. The disease can easily be transported in logs and firewood. We cut the trench with a huge blade—specially designed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) for managing oak wilt—attached to an 18,000-pound Ditch Witch. However, because there are pest, pathogen and environmental problems that look a lot like oak wilt, it is necessary to get confirmation from a lab. To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). Oak wilt is a fungal disease that is fatal to oak trees and has gained significant momentum throughout Michigan in recent years. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. All rights reserved. Oak wilt is fatal for all the species in the red oak group; those oaks with pointy-tipped leaves. Oak wilt can be recognized by rapid wilting and loss of leaves beginning at the top of the tree. Please see these recent MSU extension articles from 2017 and 2018. LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Private, nonprofit and governmental organizations are teaming up to fight a deadly fungus endangering Michigan’s oak trees. Spread of this disease is rapid and occurs on multiple fronts from root-to-root transmission, insect transmission, and sporadic long-range infections due to movement of firewood (1). Once in an oak stand, the disease will kill most of the oaks and treatment is expensive. MycoKeys. April 15, 2020. Oak wilt is a fungal pathogen (Bretziella fagacearum) killing thousands of oak trees in North American forests and woodlands each year.The fungus is able to spread from infected to healthy trees by underground roots and two groups of insects; the sap and bark feeding beetles. It is particularly devastating to trees in the red oak group, which can succumb to this disease within four weeks of infection. Fig. A devastating disease of oaks caused by the fungal pathogen. Mid-April to mid-July is the season to avoid wounding oaks. With spring comes renewed concern about oak wilt, as the disease becomes active. The fungus is found spanning 25 counties including Sherburne, Anoka, Isanti and northwestern Dakota counties. Later Event: August 18. Bretziella fagacearum*, the fungal pathogen that causes the disease Oak Wilt (OW) (Fig. Figure 1.—In 2010, oak wilt was distributed over much of the Eastern United States. It’s common for many tree species, especially with wet spring weather. 2 Hosts Oaks can be organized taxonomically into three . The disease is well-established across much of the Michigan oak landscape. Crack in bark indicating presence of pressure pad. I would think there is a good chance Osceola is one of them as Lake County is looking like an epicenter of Oak Wilt any more. Avoid wounding oaks from April to August. Oak wilt, caused by the fungus Ceratocystic fagacearum, is a lethal disease of oaks and has been detected in 56 counties in Michigan. Many of the park systems with in Muskegon and Ottawa County as well as Hoffmaster State Park had to deal with issues of Oak Wilt. A tree with foliar symptoms of oak wilt, as well as any non-symptomatic oak tree immediately adjacent to a tree with symptoms, should receive a therapeutic treatment. The oak wilt enigma: perspectives from the Texas epidemic. Look for red oaks that suddenly drop their leaves in the summer. © 2021 Forest Pathology. Vibratory plow severing oak root grafts around a disease epicenter. Plant Dis. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. It does sound a lot like oak wilt, a fungal disease that is killing oak trees all over Michigan. This includes identifying key high-risk periods of insect vector activity, fungal spore production and host tree susceptibility, and evaluating molecular methods for identification and source of spread. Oak wilt can be treated but the process is expensive and can result in significant visual change. If you have oak trees – especially red oaks – now is the time to be wary of oak wilt spores carried by flying beetles. 1995. Oak Wilt Coalition Meeting Treatment requires the elimination of both overland and underground pathways. However, oak wilt has been rep… The spread of oak wilt is sobering and serious. One way oak wilt spreads is through disease spores carried on the bodies of sap beetles as they feed from tree to tree. Oak wilt is a devastating exotic disease, killing some trees rapidly in a single season. Should your oak trees display symptoms of oak wilt or if you would like more information, contact me at, 906-786-1575 or at my office in the Forest Biomass Innovation Center near Escanaba. Plant Dis. University of Tennessee, Dr. Denita Hadziabdic, Extending the Reach of Rapid Diagnostics with Detection Tools for Oak Wilt and Laurel Wilt Diseases in Urban Forests. This is also a poor time of the year for clearing rights-of-ways and roadsides when oaks are present. The fungus invades the water-conducting vessels of oaks, eventually killing infected trees. If possible, put off construction activities around oaks until the late summer. If symptoms are observed in more than 30 percent of the crown, it is unlikely a fungicide injection will be effective. As more trees die from oak wilt, more fungal spores are produced, which allows the beetle to carry infection to new locations. Annual Review of Phytopath. Sometimes this can cause top-down leaf browning but trees seldom die within just a few weeks, as they do with oak wilt. Once in an oak stand, the disease will kill most of the oaks and treatment is expensive. Website by Randall Lynton Studios.