Oak wilt is a fungal disease that can quickly kill an oak tree. Symtoms vary by tree species but generally consist of leaf discoloration, wilt, defoliation and death. The fungus is spread from diseased to healthy trees by insect vectors or via connections between tree roots. Management of the disease consists mainly of preventing infection by avoiding tree wounds and removing diseased trees. Chemical and roots cutting methods are marginally effective in most cases. Oak wilt is an important disease of oak for timber production and of oak trees in urban areas.
With my trusty chainsaw I have removed several dead oaks over the years, but this year saw six large ones succumb to the disease. It was a removal job beyond my capacity this fall due to the size of the trees and my mid August shoulder surgery. The professionals had to be called in. Take a look at an unhappy day in my backyard several weeks ago.....:(