Oak Wilt Disease Discovered in Rib Mountain State Park

By: Clare Kaley Email
By: Clare Kaley Email

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is battling a nasty tree disease, right here in NorthCentral Wisconsin.

Oak wilt has bee found in four trees in Rib Mountain State Park. It is a fungal disease that can quickly kill an oak tree by attacking the tissues that bring in water and nutrients.

A forest health specialist said one of the hardest things about combating oak wilt is how it is spread.

"The bigger concern is that once you get oak wilt in a tree, it spreads underground through the root system," Michael Hillstrong said, "and so you get these expanding pockets so you get a group of dead trees over time."

He says another way the disease is spread is by beetles. They plan to cut down the infected trees in the next few weeks, before the beetles have a chance to spread the disease.

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