Oak Wilt Info

Important points:

  • New oak wilt was confirmed on the northwest shore of Cranberry Lake during summer 2012 (1st find in Vilas Co.). DNR will do a press release in the future and is waiting for lab work to be completed.
  • This newly discovered oak wilt center has been there since at least 2009 (possibly as early as 2007).
  • Landowner’s should educate themselves at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/foresthealth/oakwilt.html . They should memorize the literature under the Prevention tab, “In Urban/residential areas.”
  • Landowner’s who hire tree care companies to do work on their property cannot assume the tree care workers know anything about oak wilt! They should interview the tree care worker, get references, and get multiple bids! Talk with your neighbor about which arborist actually knows anything about oak wilt! Do your homework first so you are not given misinformation!
  • If property owners injure their oaks in any way (including drilling holes, pruning branches, scuffing tree base with lawnmower, etc.) from April through October, they are possibly helping to introduce oak wilt into their oaks. I recommend not touching oaks unless the ground is frozen.
  • Residents who see their oaks lose all leaves in a couple months should contact the DNR forest health specialist out of Merrill - 715-499-1880 or brian.schwingle@wisconsin.gov. Alternatively, they should contact an ISA certified arborist. Find ISA certified arborists at http://www.waa-isa.org/ . Not all certified arborists know substantial information about tree insects and diseases. There are good arborists who are not certified! Landowners can also contact their local DNR forester (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/forestlandowners/dnrforesters.html).
  • Oak Wilt is like terminal cancer for a red oak tree. There are simple ways to reduce risk. There are several options to try and isolate the cancer!!!
    Brian Schwingle

    Forest Insect and Disease Specialist - N. Region
    Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
    101 Eagle Drive
    Merrill, WI 54452
    715-499-1880 (cell)
    website: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestHealth/
    find us on facebook: www.facebook.com/WIDNR

Here are some other helpful links to find out more about Oak Wilt:


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