Thursday, January 31, 2008

Got Shaggy Oaks? Trim NOW and Prevent Oak Wilt!

Oak wilt is devastating to the landscape in communities across Anoka County and Minnesota. Prevent oak wilt spread by smart landscaping and maintenance. Oak trees should be trimmed in the late fall or winter months. If you have overgrown oak trees, now is the time to trim them and avoid exposure to this tree-killing disease!

Last summer I photographed a neighboring property in Ham Lake that has been battling oak wilt for the past four years. In just three months this property lost nearly a dozen of these majestic trees. (Read Oak Wilt—A Minnesota Tragedy for the full story.) What was once a home with a tree screened view from the street, now has only a handful of small trees left to block the cars. The amazing thicket of mature oak trees is gone.

Oak wilt is not just a Ham Lake problem. It is prevalent in communities from Lino Lakes to North Branch and Forest Lake to Stacy. Whether you live in Anoka, Chisago or Washington County, if you have oaks on your property, you need to take precautions to protect them from this deadly disease.

What is Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt is a disease caused by a fungus which attacks the central system of the tree from the roots to the leaves. The tree attempts to block the fungus, but also blocks all water and nutrients to the branches and leaves. Eventually, the trees leaves wilt and it dies.

Oak wilt spreads through the root systems of near by trees and by fungus beetles that carry the oak wilt spores from tree to tree. For additional information on oak wilt from the University of MN Extention Service CLICK HERE.

How to Protect Your Trees
The fungus beetles infect trees that have been recently injured or trimmed. These beetles are very active in the spring and summer months. Oaks should be protected from damage and not trimmed from April through July.

Trim large mature oaks now. As a preventative to spring storm damage, have your large oaks trimmed now so that heavy, dead branches won’t fall during the spring tornado season and break other healthy limbs.

Tree trimming of mature oaks is best left to professionals especially near the power lines. The trimmer should use a bucket truck or a line/pulley system, NOT spiked climbing boots which can damage the tree.

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.