Archived News Release: November 21, 2023 - Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP), a division of the Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation department, will host an informational webinar for the public to learn about oak wilt, a lethal oak tree disease. The webinar will take place at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 29, via Zoom. Register in advance at http://nap.a2gov.org/OakWiltMeeting.
The webinar will cover oak wilt identification, reporting and resources for the community, and will also review the city's response to an active oak wilt infection at Bird Hills Nature Area. The city's efforts to stop further spread of oak wilt in the park will be explained as well.
Oak wilt is not a new disease to Michigan nor Washte naw County, however this is the first time it has been identified within a City of Ann Arbor park. The city is home to 164 parks totaling 2,200 acres, of which 1,400 acres are designated as natural areas managed by NAP.
“The oak wilt case at Bird Hills Nature Area was truly a matter of when, not if," notes Remy Long, deputy manager of NAP. “While this is our first confirmed case of oak wilt, we know this disease will be an ongoing management challenge across the parks."
NAP was alerted to this first case at Bird Hills by a concerned park neighbor. “It was a powerful reminder of the value of attentive park neighbors and users," says Long. “This webinar is a chance for everyone to learn more about this disease, what the signs and symptoms are, and how folks might report suspected cases in the future."
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