Ask Eddie - Oak wilt disease

Reported by: Rebecca Rivers
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Updated: 11/05/2013 10:04 am
Although leaves may be turning colors and falling off the trees this time of year, it is still important to pay attention to your trees, especially oaks. 

Our Eddie Griffis warns us of a disease killing trees across the state. 

"Talking about oak wilt disease it's something that we see in this area. We do our regular program with our Master Gardeners from Lubbock County Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and they talk about oak wilt disease in this area that be transmitted through wood, if we bring wood into the area. One of the things the Master Gardeners talks about especially if you have young trees out there, you know they're very susceptible to oak wilt disease, also if you do any cutting or pruning on the trees which they do not recommend this time of year. Wait until they go into full dormancy because they are so susceptible to oak wilt disease. Some of the prevention steps as I mentioned before if you're getting firewood in and you have oak trees out there, make sure that the wood is well seasoned. Safely store unknown sources of firewood if you're not sure what it is and you do have oaks out there, try to put that wood to where it cannot contaminate any of your oak trees. You need to destroy diseased red oaks. Probably the most susceptible to getting oak wilt disease are the red oaks, so destroy those trees, burn them, try to mulch them, and just get them out of the way. Talking about mulching if you do mulch you want to be sure and keep that mulch away from any of the oak trees or take it to another location. Avoid wounding oaks during the vulnerable season and that includes pruning. If you're pruning those trees, that's definitely wounding and making them more susceptible to oak wilt disease. And another thing that the master gardeners talk about is if you do prune or do something like that, either bandaging or painting the tree so that they do not get the disease and it's not able to be transmitted into their trunk system." 

For more information for the producer and consumer be sure to catch Eddie weekdays on West Texas Ag Life starting at 1 p.m. on AM 950, 100.7 FM. 

Also if you have any questions or comments for Eddie, email those to 

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