Summer 2017 Oak Wilt Management Actions in New York State
DEC Announces Summer 2017 Oak Wilt Management Actions in New York State: State Encourages the Public to Report Oak Trees Losing Leaves in July and August
State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced plans to manage the spread of the invasive species that causes oak wilt disease and confirmed that the 15 trees infected by oak wilt in New York during 2016 have been removed. DEC is continuing to monitor for additional infection sites in cooperation with state and local partners, including the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic (PDDC) at Cornell University, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM).
"Without the support of the Department of Agriculture and Markets and Cornell University, these oak wilt infections may have gone unnoticed and the potential for spreading throughout New York State could have led to a significant loss of oak trees," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Continued collaboration with our state and local partners is critical to protecting our rural and community forests."
DEC identified potential infection sites, collected samples, and submitted them to Cornell University for analysis. Cornell's PDDC staff conducted tests to confirm or rule out the presence of oak wilt. The funding for this work was provided by DAM through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. PDDC will continue to test submitted samples throughout the 2017 growing season while working to streamline and testing procedures.
Tree Disease Update
Protective Zones to Prevent the Spread of Oak Wilt Disease
New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) announced that the oak tree disease, oak wilt, has been detected in the Central Islip area of the town of Islip, Suffolk County. The disease was identified by the Cornell Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic after samples from a symptomatic oak tree were submitted by a concerned tree care professional.
This is the second location in New York that oak wilt has been confirmed, the first being in Schenectady County in 2008 and 2013. After the provided oak samples tested positive for the fungus that causes the disease, the tree care professional removed and destroyed four trees that exhibited signs of being infected. There is no known treatment to contain and kill the oak wilt fungus other than to remove the infected trees as well as any surrounding host oak trees.
There a simple steps vegetation managers can do to prevent the spread of oak wilt. We can protect our oaks by pruning during the dormant season (see video). Additional resources are also available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/46919.html Though NYSDEC understand the challenges with changing tree line maintenance operations, they need utility pruning/cutting schedules for oak to be adjusted accordingly.
Additionally, Plant Protective Zones are currently being filed in Brooklyn and Suffolk County in New York. The zones are in place in Canandaigua and Central Islip. This means oak wood and firewood cannot leave these zones. Long Island vegetation managers have been cooperating by chipping their trees on site which makes that wood waste safe and legal to move out of zones.
Your attention and anticipated cooperation is greatly appreciated. Please call the number below with questions. NYSDEC will pass along new Plant Protective Zone specifics as they are approved.
Click here for the Oak Wilt Fact Sheet.
Click here for Protect Your Oaks sheet.
Oak Wilt Operations Coordinator, Division of Lands and Forests - Forest Health
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway Albany, NY 12233-4253
P: 518-408-0429 C: 518-410-6360