Oak Wilt

    As I’ve been driving around neighborhoods in search of the perfect home for my clients, I’ve been seeing many tree services cleaning up yards and cutting off tree branches in the area.  It seems like the perfect time of year for this activity since winter is ending and spring is right around the bend, but is it really the right time to cut on our trees?

    According to many, this is definitely not the best time to trim your trees in Austin because of Oak Wilt.

    TexasOakWilt.org says that Oak Wilt, caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, is the most destructive disease affecting live oaks and red oaks in Central Texas.

    Oak wilt is commonly spread to other oak trees in two ways – long distances with the aid of certain beetles or locally through common or grafted roots, according to the Texas Forest Service.

    Experts encourage that trees should not be pruned between February and June and the only reason people should prune trees within this time frame is to accommodate public safety concerns, clear limbs from utility lines, repair storm damage, eliminate rubbing limbs on buildings and remove dead branches.

    Common indicators that your tree is infected include wilting leaves, discoloration of leaves, dropping leaves and tree death.  Most trees die between one to six months of initial appearance of symptoms.

    The Oak Wilt problem is so bad in our area that the West Lake Hills and Rollingwood city councils are considering options to protect their cities’ oak trees from this disease.  To read more about what these city governments are doing about Oak Wilt, go to Community Impact Newspaper.

    Included in this Community Impact article were a few facts about Oak Wilt that we thought you would want to know.

    • There is no cure for oak wilt, though fungicide injections can increase the chances of survival.
    • Oak wilt spreads 50-100 feet per year through interconnected roots in live oaks.
    • Beetle flies can start new disease centers by moving from the fungal mat of an infected red oak to an injured live oak.
    • Beetle flies are most active in February through June.

    Regardless of when you trim your trees, proper pruning techniques should always be used.  The best way to make sure you are not causing your trees harm is to hire a local arborist who can tell you the right time and right way to trim your trees.

    If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate, please contact Kathleen Bucher at 512.794.6644 or KathleenBucher@mac.com.  It would be an honor to earn your business.

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