Oak wilt is a fungal tree disease that spreads rapidly and can kill oak trees. Oak wilt is difficult to prevent even when you take good care of your trees. When neighbors know about oak wilt, they can work together more effectively to stop the spread. This saves trees.
Are My Trees at Risk?
Any oak can get infected, but live oak and red oak are most at risk in Austin. We have 2.8 million live oak trees in Austin. Wondering if your tree is one of them? Load a picture of your tree to iNaturalist, and the community can help you identify it.
What Can You Do?
Most new oak wilt infections occur when the fungus spreads underground through connected roots. Since the disease does not stop at property lines, neighbors should discuss the locations of infected trees and treatments.
Trees need pruning to achieve a good form, but insects and diseases can enter trees through each open cut. So, consider every cut carefully. Although you can prune at any time of year, the best period for pruning oaks to reduce the risk of oak wilt is July through January. That’s when fungal spores are least likely to infect a tree.
While most trees don’t need paint after pruning, you should always paint oak trees. Paint each cut immediately, regardless of the month. All paints can deter the beetles that carry oak wilt by masking the smell.
Learn more about oak wilt and find an Oak Wilt Qualified Arborist at TexasOakWilt.org.
What Does The City Do To Help?
- We provide signs for neighborhoods to raise awareness of oak wilt. Email to request signs.
- We provide presentations to neighborhood groups on oak wilt and forest health. Email to request a neighborhood presentation or block walk.
- We provide resources that can pay for a qualified arborist to conduct a Neighborhood Oak Wilt Assessment. Learn more about how the Urban Forest Grant might pay for this work or complete this interest form if your neighborhood is ready to get started.
- Visit austintexas.gov/trees to learn more about free trees, mulch, youth engagement, education, and other resources available to individuals and community groups.
- We maintain a database of oak wilt infection areas. Search the interactive map to see if oak wilt has been found in your neighborhood.