Pruning Against Oak Wilt Now Is Recommended

Feb 3, 2016

An oak dying from and an oak killed by oak wilt.
Credit Wisconsin DNR

It might seem strange, but a tree expert says winter is the best time to prune trees to help prevent oak wilt.

Oak wilt is a tree fungal disease that chokes off an oak trees vascular system, like plugging up a person's veins and arteries. An infected tree will die from the top down. Beetles also spread the disease.

DNR Urban Forester Don Kissinger says winter is a good time to prune your oaks because the insects and diseases that attack open wounds on pruned trees aren't around in the winter. He says without leaves in the way, it's easier fo see broken, cracked or hanging limbs. He says northern Wisconsin has few cases, but they have been seen here...

".....it is found in a couple of areas of Oneida county, some in Vilas, Marathon county has (some), but it is moving and the reason why it is is because you have folks doing landscaping on their summer homes or lake homes and that is where we found it in the Oneida-Vilas counties area...."

Kissinger says trees should be pruned throughout their entire life. He says pruning should not remove more than 25 percent of the crown of the tree. He points the public to go to the DNR website and search for tree pruning in the search box.

Tags: