Why is it best to Trim Oak Trees in the Fall?

Time to Trim Your Trees

Trimming Oak trees during their peak transmission season, February 1st through June 15th, could cause the tree to develop Oak Wilt disease. Once your tree has contracted oak wilt, did you know that it can spread to neighboring oaks and slowly kill them?

Oak Trees

What is Oak Wilt Disease?

Oak wilt disease is a fungal disease. When you create a wound on a tree when trimming, the wound will secrete sap. This sap attracts bark feeding insects,
usually beetles, to feed. These beetles pick up oak wilt spores in the woods and transmit the spores to the newly trimmed tree. Depending on the species of oak,this disease can kill the tree very quickly, usually in a single growing season.

How to Identify Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt disease causes the outer leaves near the top too rapidly turn yellow during the spring season. This yellowing will spread throughout the entire canopy and the leaves will quickly drop. Neighboring oak trees are now at risk because this disease travels through the root system.

Can Oak Wilt be treated?

After the tree contracts Oak wilt it is too late. Preventative injection treatments will significantly decrease the chances of oak wilt contamination.

How do you prevent Oak Wilt Disease?

Trimming and pruning Oak trees in the fall and winter will dramatically decrease the chance of the tree contracting Oak wilt. Beetles and other insects are below the frost line at this time so they are not out feeding on tree sap therefore oak wilt spores are not transmitted to the oak tree. If a neighboring tree has contracted oak wilt, the only way to prevent infection is by digging a trench around the tree. This severs the connected roots of the adjacent, affected tree.