If you have a wide variety of trees on your property, then it is vital that you inspect the trees often for signs of disease. Diseases vary based on location and climate and some diseases are more serious than others. One serious tree ailment is called oak wilt, and like the name suggests, it can affect the oak trees on your property. There are some signs of oak wilt that you should look out for. If you notice them, then contact a local tree removal specialist to help with the removal of the infected trees.
The signs of oak wilt are quite varied depending on the type of oak trees you have on your property. However, almost all trees are affected by leaf drop where leaves wilt and drop from the tree at abnormal times. Specifically, you are likely to see dropping leaves in the spring and summer instead of the fall.
Depending on the condition of the tree and the advancement of the disease, some leaves may wither and fall while others remain attached to the tree. This can make it difficult to identify the wilt issue right away. However, on further inspection, the dropped leaves will show obvious signs of the wily disease.
The dropped leaves will often appear with two distinct colors. Leaves that are partially green and red or green and brown are common. The base of each leaf will often appear green with a discolored edge. Some leaves will be split vertically with one side brown and the other green. This is very different from the way fall leaves usually appear with a natural variegation.
In some situations, infected trees will drop leaves that are completely green, so look for this as well.
Trees infected with oak wilt will die gradually and you will see some serious dieback beforehand. Dieback will usually appear towards the top of the tree first and will move downward. These branches are the ones that experience leaf drop and then die afterward.
As the branches break and fall to the ground, it is best to investigate them for signs of fungi. Fungal growth appears under the bark of infected trees and spores are often quite obvious. Unfortunately, there are many different types of fungi that can attack a tree, so an expert will need to collect and test the fungi to identify the species.
Once identification is made, removal should be scheduled as soon as possible. Since the oak wilt disease can pass between the roots of adjacent oak trees, this can help to keep the disease from spreading, but timely removal is necessary.