Oak wilt is killing Michigan oak trees

By: Lia Kananipuamaeole Kamana
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

Michigan oak trees don’t have to worry just about getting cleared out for the construction of neighborhoods, homes, businesses and schools anymore. These days an oak tree’s biggest concern is a fungus known as oak wilt that constricts the water-conducting vessels. According to Steve Martinko of Michigan Organic Tree Care, the first kind of infection occurs in the leaves and spreads through the branches, trunks and roots.  

“The roots take the pathogen and disperse the infection like cancer,” said Martinko. Once oak wilt infects a tree, there is no cure and the best thing to do is start protecting nearby trees from getting infected.