Canopy Comments

Canopy Comments, Oak Wilt Survey Site Visit 27 May
Sharon Porter from WCNA
Chris Dolan, City of Austin arborist for oak wilt mapping, met with several neighbors on Tuesday, May 20th at the site on Indianhead to review his findings of active oak wilt, and recommendations for treatment. Chris has described the Walnut Creek Neighborhood, in terms of oak wilt, as an old, historic oak wilt site, quiescent and under surveillance.

Those present at the site meeting included Robert Meadows, President of the BOD of the Walnut Creek Neighborhood Association, and Gary Brewer, a very knowledgeable neighbor.

The active oak wilt was cited as 11812 Indianhead and 11807 Indianhead. Thank you for those who noted the discrepancy. We think we got it right this time.

The tree on the right of way on southeast corner of the empty lot at 11812 is currently being injected with fungicide. This tree is in the right of way, and Chris was able to secure funding for treatment from the City of Austin.

His recommendation is that owners treat live oak trees within 150′ of the active oak wilt trees.

He also reviewed an important reason to avoid treating trees where it is not required: less than ½% of the time agents used can cause trees to die in a very short period of time but, still there is risk and expense.

Things you can do to protect your live oak trees:

(1) Water. Hand held hoses are allowed at any time.

(2) Use only oak wilt certified arborists to work on or treat your live oaks. Check www.texasoakwilt.org for certified arborists, at Home / Find a Specialist / Certified Arborists

(3) No trimming of live oaks until the temperatures are consistently at or above 95 degrees, when the beetle carrying the fungus is less active. Note that it is considered less active, not inactive.

For ease of communication, this recommendation is usually stated as no trimming between February and July 1st. However, this has been a cool year, so it may be after June 1st that we reach these temperatures.

(4) There are several areas of oak wilt survivors in the neighborhood, trees with very thin canopies that have had oak wilt, and have not yet died. These May or may not die over a number of years. They are not considered a source of infection to other trees.

(5) Elizabeth Switek reported an oak wilt survivor that has increased canopy each year, and produced acorns last year. I am referring the question to Chris, whether these trees are still susceptible to oak wilt, are imminent, or have an increased resistance. I will report his response in a subsequent posting, as soon as I receive it.

Limitations on the survey: Chris could not enter backyards. He had a snapshot of our trees. We can view our live oaks daily. www.texasoakwilt.org is a resource for knowing what to post, if you have concerns about out trees. Chris will follow up on survey in coming months but, if you have a concern you want addressed, please post with specific location.

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