Shedding leaves are a ritual of fall that many people embrace each year. However, even during the summertime, some lawn owners may notice that they have leaves falling on their yard. If this happens, you should not take it as a sign of an early fall but should instead react with alarm. If you see leaves falling during dead summer, this is a clear sign that you may have oak wilt, one of the most dangerous lawn diseases. In this post, we explain how you can tell whether you may have oak wilt disease on your lawn, and what you may be able to do to combat it.
How can you tell if you have oak wilt?
Besides shedding leaves, there are clear signs that suggest the presence of oak wilt. The first thing to look for is the color of your leaves. If your leaves have turned brown and gold, particularly at the tips of the leaves, this is an easy sign of oak wilt. The disease also produces changes to the bark, as infected trees will generally have bark with dark brown or black streaks. Another easily identifiable symptom is that branches get much deader.
Differences between white oaks and red oaks
There are two classifications of oaks that suffer from oak wilt. The first, less severe category, is the white oak group. The white oaks include whites, bur, and swamp oaks. The white oak group tends to become infected in mid to late summer, with leaves browning and dead branches. Even though oak wilt is still serious in white oaks, the trees can still last anywhere between 1 to 7 years. Meanwhile, the red oak group consists of the red, black, scarlet, and pin oaks. When infected, these oaks tend to last no more than several months. The leaves of the read oaks fall more rapidly, with all of them gone within three weeks from late June through August.
Preventing oak wilt
The easiest way to prevent oak wilt is to be particularly careful with pruning. Only prune trees when the temperatures are below 50 degrees. Unfortunately, there is no cure that has been discovered for red oak will disease, while white oak wilt disease can be cured using fungicides.
Oak wilt is one of the swiftest ways of losing trees, so every lawn owner needs to be on the lookout for signs of the disease. If your trees fall into the red oak category, there is really nothing you can do to cure your trees, but you can still prevent oak wilt by carefully monitoring your pruning.