Ferguson Township confirms first case of oak wilt this year

Date: August 1, 2018

Ferguson Township has confirmed its first case of oak wilt this year at a residence on Tadpole Road. 

Oak wilt is a fungus that attacks all species of oak trees, but red oaks and pin oaks are the most susceptible. Once infected, an otherwise healthy tree rapidly drops its leaves during the summer months and dies, while other nearby trees still have green leaves. 

Oak wilt can spread through root grafts to nearby trees, and can be carried by bark beetles that feed on an infected tree and then move to a healthy one.

Township Ordinance 1023 declares that it is unlawful to prune oak trees from April 1 through October 31 each year, as this is the time the beetles that spread the fungus are most active. It also declares that it is unlawful to climb oak trees using spurs or spikes for any reason except tree removal.

Township Resolution 2016-32 allows Township staff to treat or cause to be treated at risk oak trees within 150 feet of an infected oak tree with a fungistat to abate the spread of the disease, to perform trenching to break tree root grafts, and to remove whole infected trees — all at no cost to the property owner. 

Please be aware of the signs of oak wilt and report any trees showing symptoms to the Township Arborist

For more information, contact Lance King, Township Arborist, at (814) 238-4651, or email him at lking@twp.ferguson.pa.us 

Oak Wilt Fact Sheet