Oak Wilt is a Complex Vascular Disease
Discovered in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 1978, Oak Wilt is caused by the fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum, and is mostly spread from tree-to-tree by root-to-root contact. It can be spread by the Nititdulid Beetle carrying fungal spores from an infected Oak to the fresh wound (created within 24 to 48 hours) of a nearby Oak, but this is infrequent.
Oak Wilt Management
Not all Oak species are as susceptible to Oak Wilt as others. For example, Red Oaks, both Shumard and Spanish, are highly susceptible to the pathogen. Live Oaks (Quercus fusiformis and Quercus virginiana) follow as a close second. While Oaks in the White Oak family, such as Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) or Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii), are more tolerant of an infection.
Because Oak Wilt is such complex disease, we have available on our website a four-part article series to help explain its symptoms, transmission, management of the disease, diagnosis, suppression, proper pruning, prevention and treatment. These articles were written in response to conflicting information available online and in public venues that has created confusion and anxiety in Oak tree owners.
To better understand what are Oak Wilt facts versus Oak Wilt fiction, we recommend starting with Part One of the article series.