Oak wilt is a disease that is best controlled by concerted, uniform, communitywide action. This is because untreated infection centers maintain a source of infection that threatens nearby oaks and thus the entire community. Landowners acting on their own face an uphill battle because of the potential for the disease to be reintroduced onto their property from untreated sites in the vicinity. Fortunately, many communities within the range of oak wilt have active management programs, and some provide financial as well as technical assistance to affected landowners. So if you suspect you have oak wilt, first contact your local community representative to see what assistance might be available.
If there is no community program available to you, you have two choices that will protect your tree:
- Contact a private consultant to assist you.
- Encourage and then support the development of a community disease management program.
To locate a private consultant working in your area, visit the Minnesota Society of Arboriculture website. To investigate the possibility of developing a local program, talk to your local community representative or tree board member. An effective community program includes vigilance by an informed public, prompt attention to suspect trees by qualified inspectors, proper diagnosis, and effective application of approved treatment methods.
For local officials or board members
In many cases, effective disease management is accomplished through passage of a local ordinance. For technical assistance or to obtain sample ordinances, contact your local DNR office.