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According to Texas A&M Oak Wilt is one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States. The disease has killed more than 1 million trees in 76 Central Texas counties. Oak wilt is an infectious vascular disease caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum. The fungus invades and disables the water conducting system in susceptible trees.
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ALL OAKS ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO OAK WILT!
Oak wilt spreads to other oak trees in two ways – long distances with the aid of certain beetles or locally through common or grafted roots. Sap-feeding (nitidulid) beetles are believed to be responsible for much of the long distance spread of oak wilt. During the spring, the oak wilt fungus forms special spore-producing structures called fungal mats on red oaks. Nitidulid beetles are small (about 1/8-inch long) and are attracted to oak wilt fungal mats because the mats have a sweet, “fruity” smell. Mats form underneath the bark of diseased red oaks and are not known to occur on live oak trees. The fungal mats apply pressure under the bark causing a tiny crack to form.
Yes, the City has a couple of cases of oak wilt within City limits.
The City created a program to partially reimburse homeowners with oak wilt abatement expenses.
The City is encouraging residents to donate to the Oak Wilt Fund at First United Bank to help residents offset some of the oak wilt abatement costs. If oak wilt spreads throughout the City, it will affect our beautiful trees and property values.
There are education materials on the City website and at City Hall to help with identifying oak wilt and some precautions you can take to avoid oak wilt damage.