Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oak Abuse - Pruning in Oak Wilt Season

I started writing about and giving seminars on Oak Wilt Prevention nearly 20 years ago... and I was late to the party compared to Dr. David French, Don Willeke and so many other dedicated tree advocates. Cardinal Rule: DO NOT WOUND OR PRUNE OAK TREES IN APRIL, MAY OR JUNE. Simple enough, right?

That's why it was so disheartening to return home from work one evening to find that a "professional" tree care company had just pruned my elderly neighbor's gorgeous mature red oak trees... on May 22 (oh yeah, and charged her a king's ransom to do it).

I called the owner of the company and asked if he knew about the risks of oak wilt. He proudly stated he's been pruning oaks during April, May and June for nearly 20 years and "hasn't lost a tree yet." Right. He was completely unapologetic, completely arrogant. Another example of chain saw + pick up truck = tree care company.

With so few oaks being planted, and so many being lost to construction damage & natural/accidental oak wilt, we sure as hell don't need so-called tree care experts doing the fungus' work for it.

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