The fungus associated with oak wilt can be identified in the field by the presence of fungal mats which form cushions under the bark of infected trees. However, these fungal mats are infrequently found in the South. Identification can also be made by observing laboratory isolates of the fungus.
The wilt fungus is favored by moderate temperatures. It spreads from infected to noninfected trees through root grafts. In addition, insects can carry spores of the fungus over long distances.
To try to manage oak wilt, if in a forest, kill infected trees with silvicides to reduce inoculum and prevent root graft transmission of the disease. If in urban areas, sanitation by removing infected trees and trenching to eliminate root grafts will minimize the losses.
If you are concerned about your trees for any reason, please contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists in their plant health care division that are well trained on how to give your trees and plants the proper care they need. Contact us for an analysis of your trees and plants.