DNR advises caution to prevent the spread of oak wilt disease - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

DNR advises caution to prevent the spread of oak wilt disease

BERRIEN COUNTY - The Department of Natural Resources says next Tuesday will be the end of a three month window when oak wilt could be transmitted to healthy oak trees. Even though the time frame is close to being over, DNR reminds residents to not move the wood from trees with oak wilt.

DNR says wood from oak wilt-killed trees could produce spores, which can infect healthy trees.

According to Dr. Robert Heyd, forest health management program manager for the DNR's Forest Resources Division, oak wilt is a serious disease of oak trees. It mainly affects red oaks including northern red, black and pin oaks.

"The normal time-tested advice is to prevent oak wilt by not pruning or otherwise 'injuring' oaks from April 15th to July 15th," Heyd said.

He added that the spread of oak wilt occurs during this time of the year as beetles move spores from trees killed last year by oak wilt to wound on healthy oaks.

Oak wilt has been detected in Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties.

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