Monday, September 14, 2009

Oak Abuse, Part 3

(click to enlarge)
Well, it has happened, my fears are (nearly) confirmed. Remember, a soon-to-be named south Twin Cities metro tree "care" company pruned my neighbor's gorgeous red oak trees on May 22 - smack dab in the middle of oak wilt season. When they remained healthy throughout June and part of July, I was hopeful that we had dodged a bullet and that the trees had escaped infection. No such luck. Since showing the first signs of flagging & die back in July, the tree collapsed rapidly in August. Samples have been sent to the Plant Disease Clinic at the University of Minnesota for culture & diagnosis. Results are expected in 1-2 weeks, but the technician was convinced that it is indeed oak wilt, and a tree inspector from a Mpls suburb who was dropping off samples believes it is oak wilt.

So, in all likelihood, these guys killed my neighbor's tree. Actually, trees - since this red oak is part of a row of huge red oaks that spans 5 different front yards. Sidewalks, driveways, the street and buried electrical/cable/phone lines will make it very difficult to effectively trench to severe the root grafts between the trees and prevent the spread of the fungus from this diseased tree to its cohorts.

So we have the cost of removal and the cost of trenching to try to save the remaining trees. We'll be having a "chat" with this particular tree "care" company very soon. Stay tuned.

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