From the Missouri Department of Conservation, oak wilt, a fungus that causes lethal disease in a variety of oak trees, has spread into the greater Kansas City area. Signs of a diseased tree can include the browning/wilting of leaves in early summer, brown/black streaking under the bark of wilted branches and rapid defoliation.

“Now is the time for intermediate or major tree trimming, during the dormant season which is generally early December through mid-March,” said Chief Ambassador of Outdoor Living Patrick Vogt. “Trimming an infected tree outside of these months can actually do more damage than good to the tree and cause the disease to spread.”

According the Department of Conservation, “the oak wilt fungus is spread primarily when sap- feeding beetles carry oak wilt spores to fresh wounds during the early part of the growing season. Once established in a tree, oak wilt can move though root grafts connecting nearby oaks.”

“Similar to elm disease, Emerald Ash Borers and Japanese Beetles, oak wilt is another threat to watch out for and contact us if you think you have a problem so we can help,” said Vogt. “The earlier we can start treatment, the better chance we have to save an infected tree and prevent the spread of the disease.”

To learn more, please visit the University of Missouri Extension’s website:

If oak wilt is of concern for you, please contact us today for a complimentary assessment and treatment options.