A number of new oak wilt infections have been identified in Vilas County this summer. I’m waiting on results for a few more samples, and have several more trees to go and collect samples from, so there will probably be additional reports to come.
Cloverland Township, Vilas County, had its first oak wilt identified this year. Unfortunately, oak wilt was first introduced to this site last year when the harvest extended into the high risk period, and the storm damage that we had in May allowed oak wilt to infect many new trees at the site this spring.
In Arbor Vitae Township, northeast of Woodruff, there are a number of new sites where oak wilt has been identified; some of these are right on the southern border of Boulder Junction Township. And several wilting trees have been identified along Nabish Lake Rd in Boulder Junction and Plum Lake Townships.
As I said, I’m still waiting on a few more results, as well as needing to collect from a few trees that were recently reported to me. Oak wilt is generally not common in the northwoods so if you see wilting oaks in July or August, please report them. To minimize new infections of oak wilt it’s important not to prune, wound, or harvest during the high risk period in the spring, April 15 – July 15 in the north. For more information about minimizing the risk of overland spread of oak wilt, or for info on controlling oak wilt infections that are already present, check out the Wisconsin DNR oak wilt page.
Written by: Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, (Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov), 715-356-5211 x232.