Monday, March 23, 2009

Time is Running Out! Trim Oaks by April 1st to Prevent Oak Wilt!

The snow is quickly melting away and spring has sprung! If your oak trees require trimming, do not delay. Oak wilt is devastating to the landscape across Anoka County. Oak trees should be trimmed in the late fall or winter months. If you have overgrown oak trees, trim them this week or wait until fall to avoid exposure to this tree-killing disease!

As a REALTOR who lives and works in the areas of Blaine, Ham Lake and Lino Lakes, I am very aware of how this tree-killing disease affects property values throughout Anoka County and the north metro. Two years ago I shared photos of a property in our Ham Lake neighborhood where the owners had been dealing with oak wilt for the past several years. In one summer alone this property lost 11 trees. While the amazing thicket of mature oak trees is gone, the new owners took the initiative to save the remaining oaks and with treatment and proper care no additional trees have been lost in nearly two years.

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 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.


Copyright 2009 Teri Eckholm