Oak Wilt Identified in Ann Arbor Nature Area
Archived News Release: September 19, 2023 - The City of Ann Arbor has confirmed Oak Wilt in a cluster of Red Oak trees in Bird Hills Nature Area. Oak Wilt is not new to Michigan or Washte naw County, however this is the first time it's been identified in a nature area within the city of Ann Arbor. City forestry staff is working in collaboration with the Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) division to take steps to develop and implement the appropriate remediation plan for Bird Hills Nature area. This plan will require both above- and below-ground steps to ensure the infections are addressed and don't spread to other trees. Residents should not walk through areas of Bird Hills that are flagged or move any material, flags or coverings in them, the city notes.
Oak Wilt is a systemic, lethal disease of Oak caused by the fungus, Bretziella fagacearum. While the disease can be destructive, it is not considered as universally devastating as Dutch Elm Disease or Emerald Ash Borer. Because the disease spreads most efficiently through grouped root systems of Oak trees, Ann Arbor street trees are less likely to be impacted.
To help the public understand Oak Wilt, what the city is doing to address the issue, and resources for what to look for, please visit url.a2gov.org/oakwilt
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