How to Treat Oak Wilt?

How to Treat Oak Wilt

As you are transitioning to changing seasons, the planted oaks also become prone to fungal attacks, especially oak wilt. This disease is so quick to spread that you won’t even get proper time to prevent it! But you can always heal the infected trees if you treat them early. So, the question is, “How to treat oak wilt?”

A certified fungicide mix and burning down the infected area work to minimize the fungal infection spread. As prevention is better than cure, let me walk you through its prevention along with the treatment process!

What Are the Oak Wilt Symptoms?

To treat the oak wilt, you need to diagnose the disease first. Only then you can take precautionary steps to protect the healthy plants. So, note down these symptoms of the disease:

How to Treat Oak Wilt
  • Foliage or leaves start to curl, and they turn brownish or yellow.
  • The outer edge of the leaves will appear bronze, and gradually, the discoloration will spread to the inward edges of the leaves.

  • Leaves will drop in clusters prematurely from the infected tree.

  • In between the cracks of the tree, fungal mats or dense white powder will form. 

  • Now, the oak tree will release a fruity odor.

For diagnosing more signs of the disease, ensure to watch it:

How to Treat Oak Wilt: Step-by-Step Process

If the oak wilt disease has not spread throughout the tree, only then you can treat this fungal infection. And the oak wilt treatment cost will vary according to the fungicide you choose. If you have the fungicide, do not think twice to follow these steps

Step 1: Preparation 

First off, wear safety gloves. And go through the user manual to mix the fungicide with water or the recommended ingredient. Ensure that the fungicide is from a certified arborist or store. 

Step 2: Loosen the Soil

Using a shovel or spade, remove the soil around the oak tree trunk. Try to loosen the soil around its flare root. Do not dig too deep, or else, you may end up killing the roots.

Step 3: Make Drills 

As the title suggests, create drills in the flare roots. The drilled holes should be deep enough to hold the fungicide mix without dropping any solution. Also, make injection points or drills around the tree. 

How to Treat Oak Wilt

Step 4: Inject the Tree

Take injection apparatus or tubes and fill them with the fungicide mixture. You will need one tube per drill you have made on the tree. Then, insert the injecting needle into each injection point. And leave the injectors as they are until the oak tree soaks up the solution. It may take 2 to 48 hours. 

How to Treat Oak Wilt

Step 5: Aftercare 

Once the fungicide penetrates the tree, remove the injectors right away. Then, add soil and mulch over the roots. Water the lower trunk every week. This way, it will suppress the fungal infection or oak wilt. 

One year after the treatment, the roots will need re-treatment. It is better to call a professional team for the next treatment. 

How to Prevent Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt disease spreads quickly to the healthy trees nearby. So, to stop more damage from the wilt, follow these prevention guides below –

How to Treat Oak Wilt

Step 1: Prepare Buffer Zone

Buffer zones refer to the trench or space created between the infected tree and other healthy plants. It blocks the fungus from spreading through roots. Around the fungus-infected tree, make a 48 inches deep trench or hole. Hire professionals to get it done quickly. 

Step 2: Use Rock Salt 

If the disease is severe and the plant is almost dead, there is no need to inject it with fungicide. Rather, expose its roots inside the trench you have dug. Then, make drills in a circumference around the oak tree bark and roots. 

Add half a bucket of water to a half bucket of rock salt. Now, spread the salt mix throughout the drilled roots and trunk. I’d recommend pouring hot water over the trench. 

Step 3: Remove the Dead Stump 

After a few weeks of applying the rock salt, the oak tree will not survive. At this point, fell the tree and remove the stump. Burn the trunk down. 

If you want to keep the felled tree for firewood, make sure to cover it with plastic wrap. Or else, the cut wood will form fungal mats that can attack other oak trees. 

Step 4: Protect the Wounds 

Sometimes, while pruning, wounds or slits can form on the oak trees. And these cuts attract sap-feeding beetles. Gradually, the fungus will develop on the slits. And to prevent it, paint the wounds or cuts with latex-based paint. 

Step 5: Remove the Wounded Limbs 

If you do not want to paint the wounds, you must detach the wounded limbs of the tree. For that, use a chainsaw and cut the branch. Cut from an angle so that the branch will not fall over other plants. 

Step 6: Keep the Place Warm and Well–Drained

Note that fungi live off moisture. So, plant your oak trees in an area that receives direct sunlight. Also, no water should stand near the trees. Hence, making a well-drainage system is a must to prevent fungal infection. 


Once you figure out how to treat oak wilt on your own, you no longer need to contact a professional wilt management team. But if you are not that expert with tree handling, especially during fungal attacks, leave the task to the professionals. 

If you take up with the treatment process, avoid buying fungicides from local stores. Rather, get them from agricultural consultants. 

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

What is the price of an oak wilt treatment kit?

In general, the fungicide costs $0.25 per 10ml. And the injection tube can range from around $10 to $13 each. And if you hire a professional team with their tools, they will charge you $10 per diameter. 

When to cut down oak wilt trees? 

If the oak wilt has spread throughout the tree, you should cut down the tree. The tree will start losing leaves in clusters, and fungal powder will form all over the base. At this point, ensure to fell the tree. 

Does DIY oak wilt treatment work?

Using DIY injectors to apply fungicide does work to suppress the spread of the disease. However, other DIY herbicides do not work well on the fungus. 

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

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