How Is Oak Wilt Spread?
There are three known ways that Oak Wilt is spread.
1. When an oak is infected with Oak Wilt, it transmits the fungus through root grafts to surrounding trees. Oak Wilt can keep spreading until the entire neighborhood is in an "oak wilt disease center" with hundreds of dead and dying oaks. It usually spreads around 75 to 150 feet per year in this method.
2. When Red Oak fungus mats enlarge, they crack the bark and emit a fruity odor that attracts the Sap Beetle.
These fungus mats are also known to grow on Red Oak firewood. When the beetles feed on the mats of the infected tree, fungus spores adhere to their bodies. As the beetles move from diseased trees to the wounds on healthy oaks, the disease-causing spores are transmitted to a new host -- your tree. The Sap Beetle is inactive during extreme temperatures.
Wounds on your Oak Trees should be painted to prevent the beetle from spreading the fungus to the fresh wound. These wounds can be caused by regular trimming, branches rubbing on other branches, deer horns, and even buildings.
3. Another way the fungus spreads is when a trimming tool is used on a contaminated tree and then on a healthy oak tree without being cleaned in between. It is very important to sanitize tools before cutting on other trees. Sanitizing can be done with a bleach solution, Lysol, or alcohol.New Paragraph