A deadly disease in oaks has been found for the first time in Price county. Oak Wilt was found by the DNR in two red oak trees in the town of Elk, north of Phillips.
No one was available from the DNR to discuss the finding on Friday, but U.S. Forest Service silvaculturalist Jerry Van Cleve says it has been found in the southern two-thirds of the state, but it has been spreading northward and is considered an invasive species...
"....it's a fungus that attacks primarily red oaks and spread by beetles.One of the ways to prevent the spread of the disease is to avoid wounding or damaging or pruning or harvesting in oak stands during the time of the year in the spring and early summer when the beetles are the most active....."
The beetles carry the fungus from the infected tree to the healthy tree and enter the tree through wounds.
Van Cleve says once oak wilt is found it's tough to control. It can be spread between root systems and he says it can kill a red oak in a matter of weeks. White oaks are more resistant.
Oak Wilt was discovered in Oneida county in 2010.