Serving North East Ohio & Eastern Cleveland Area

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Preventing the Spread of Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm

With the arrival of the summer season in Northeast Ohio right around the corner, it is time to refresh ourselves of some common, serious tree diseases: Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm.

Important Note: During the summer, Independent Tree does not schedule tree pruning services for oak or elm trees due to the risk of spreading these diseases, and we advise that homeowners also avoid pruning the trees during this time unless absolutely essential for safety reasons, and practicing sterile pruning methods.  We will continue to look at all pruning work and are happy to schedule your Oak and Elm trees for pruning after August.

oak wiltAbout Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm Disease

  • Oak Wilt is a fungal disease that can quickly kill an oak tree. The United States Department of Agriculture calls it one of the most serious tree diseases in the Eastern United States. Some signs that your tree may have Oak Wilt disease are discolored leaves and dead branches. To avoid the spread of Oak Wilt from an infected tree to a healthy one, Oak trees should not be pruned from May through the end of August. Pruning creates an open wound on a healthy tree, which can easily become infected. If you are concerned about Oak Wilt, injectable preventative treatments are also available to help protect your trees.
  • Dutch Elm is one of the most destructive shade tree diseases in North America. The fungus is carried by an elm bark beetle, which is a devastating pest that lives on and attacks live elm trees. To avoid the spread of this disease, elm trees should be pruned only during the winter season. Otherwise, the elm bark beetles will be attracted to the open wounds on tree bark caused by pruning and will spread the infection to healthy trees. Keep in mind that you can also be proactive in scheduling a treatment for your Elm trees to protect against Dutch Elm Disease.

It’s not always easy to tell if trees are affected by one of these diseases.

If you’re unsure whether one of your trees is infected with Oak Wilt or Dutch Elm, give our team a call at 440-564-1374 or contact us online. We can schedule an appointment for one of our certified arborists to inspect your tree and recommend treatment.