Feb 8, 2024

Prune oak trees now to prevent disease spread, DNR says

By Grace Jacobson / News Director

The unusually warm winter might leave more than a mark on the record books. It could hasten invasive oak wilt infection risk.

The non-native fungal disease is spread when sap-feeding beetles become active in warm weather and carry oak wilt spores from one tree to the next. These beetles are attracted to the sap from fresh wounds, such as those made by pruning.

According to the Minnesota DNR, prune and trim oak trees now to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.

April through July is the highest risk period for oak wilt to spread. But if temperatures continue to climb and near 60 F this month and into next, sap-feeding beetles will become active and the oak wilt risk will increase.

Visit the DNR’s oak wilt management webpage for more information on oak wilt identification, prevention and treatment.

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