A Wimpy Winter is a Great Time to Trim Oaks and Prevent Oak Wilt!

By
Real Estate Agent with Boardman Realty Minnesota License#90858
 
 
 

We are currently being blessed (or cursed if you are a snow-lover) with a wimpy winter by Minnesota standards. The early season abundance of snow...way back in November has now dwindled to a pretty low amount of snow cover. This means most roofs are not sporting 3 foot icicles and home damaging ice dams. People aren’t breaking their backs shoveling or blowing their budget on snow plowing and salt for their driveways. Yes, this wimpy winter has been a blessing in many regards.
 
  Another perk of the lack of snow cover means that it will be easier to trim your oak trees this winter. Oak wilt is devastating to trees in Anoka, Washington and Chisago counties as massive oaks are destroyed when this disease spreads. Smart landscaping and maintenance requires you trim oaks in the winter months—before April in Minnesota. Now is the perfect time to avoid exposure to this tree-killing disease and without the normal ice and snow of a Minnesota winter it will be much easier to maneuver ladders and equipment to reach trees on acreage properties.
 
Oak Wilt Devastates Acreage Several years ago I shared photos of a property in a Ham Lake community where the owners had endured oak wilt on their acreage property for several years. Sadly they did not tackle the issue head-on and in one summer alone, lost approximately a dozen trees. (Read Oak Wilt—A Minnesota Tragedy) While the beautiful grove of mature oak trees is now a memory, the current property owners took the initiative to save the remaining oaks. With treatment and proper care,the remaining oaks have been disease free.
 
Oak wilt is not just a problem in Ham Lake and Anoka County. It is prevalent in communities from Columbus to Lino Lakes and Forest Lake to Scandia. Whether you live in Anoka, Chisago or Washington County, if you have oaks on your property, you need to take precautions to protect them from this deadly tree-killing disease.
 
What is Oak Wilt?
 
Oak wilt is a disease caused by a fungus which attacks the central system of the tree from the roots to leaves.  When the tree attempts to block the fungus, it also blocks all water and nutrients to the branches and leaves. The leaves then wilt, brown and eventually, the tree dies.
 
Oak wilt spreads through the root systems of near by infected trees and by fungus beetles that carry the oak wilt spores from tree to tree. For additional information on oak wilt from the University of MN Extention Service CLICK HERE.
 
How to Protect Your Trees
 
Keep oaks trimmed and healthy. Trim large mature oaks now as January/February are excellent months to prune oak trees.  If you have your large oaks trimmed now it is a preventative to spring storm damage when heavy, dead branches can fall during tornadoes or straight line winds.
 
The fungus beetles infect trees that have been recently injured or trimmed. These beetles are very active in the spring and summer months but not active at all during the winter. Oaks should be protected from damage and not trimmed from April through July.
 
Tree trimming of mature oaks is best left to professionals especially near the power lines. The trimmer should use a bucket truck or a line/pulley system, NOT spiked climbing boots which can damage the tree.
 
Selling a Home with Oak Wilt?
 
Be honest and disclose!  A seller think it is acceptable to cut down a diseased tree and not mention this when selling their home. This is not only unethical it could cause expensive legal problems after the sale. Even if a seller doesn’t say anything about oak wilt infected trees that were removed prior to listing the home, most neighbors will inform a new homeowner at some point. 
 
Cutting down a diseased tree does not prevent the spread of oak wilt. It is likely other trees are infected. If more trees die and the buyer was not properly informed, the seller could be in a legal battle. Bottom line: There is a question regarding diseased trees on the Minnesota Sellers’ Disclosure Form. Fill it out honestly. It is never a good idea to not tell the whole truth on a property disclosure form. 
Posted by

Teri Eckholm. REALTOR with Boardman Realty, is a native Minnesotan who has lived and worked in the Minneapolis St Paul metro all of her life. She specializes in lakeshore homes, acreage properties and first time home buyers but assists anyone making a move in the north and east Twin Cities metro.

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give Teri , a call or visit her website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report She specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bob Crane 03/02/2015 10:51 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 03/03/2015 06:00 PM
Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
Minnesota Anoka County
Groups:
Posts to Localism
Internet Empowered Consumer
Tags:
acreage realtor
preventing oak wilt
anoka county oak wilt
best time to trim oaks
when to prune oak trees

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Rainmaker
2,394,979
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I have never heard of this particular desease, yet I have an oak tree.  I will call someone local, thank you for the information!

Feb 28, 2015 09:45 AM #1
Rainmaker
720,487
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Evelyn--I know it is more prevalent in certain areas and affect specific types of oaks. Hopefully it is not as devastating in Indiana. The timing for trimming might be different too as we are pretty cold until mid-April but you might warm up sooner and have the beetles be active sooner.

Feb 28, 2015 09:58 AM #2
Rainmaker
3,983,315
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

This is a great year to work on this.  Although...not much will stop the spread.

Feb 28, 2015 10:08 AM #3
Rainmaker
720,487
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Bill--Surprisingly, in Ham Lake the root cutting in the fall and programs to monitor the oaks have helped tremendously. We were near those people who didn't take it seriously. Our oaks have been spared and few in the neighborhood lost trees other than the one property that was not treating them properly. If monitored and treated as recommended, oaks can be spared. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a similar program in Chisago County and have seen many developments lose all their trees.

Feb 28, 2015 10:24 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,317,551
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I have not heard of oak wilt.  At least the  whimpy winter will permit folks to make sure they take steps to eliminate oak wilt.

Feb 28, 2015 11:11 AM #5
Rainer
39,149
Andrew Scherer
Approved Mortgage Group - Doylestown, PA
Real Estate Representation At It's Finest

I have never head of this and it's interesting to see/hear what other folks are dealing with out there outside of our immediate market.  Thanks for sharing.

Feb 28, 2015 11:52 AM #6
Ambassador
4,260,865
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

a great warning oak wilt is a pretty devastating disease.
it is important to do all your pruning during the dormant season

Feb 28, 2015 03:44 PM #7
Rainmaker
720,487
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Joan--Maybe it is regional? I know it affects certain oaks more than others. Thanks for the comments.

Mar 02, 2015 12:36 AM #8
Rainmaker
720,487
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Andrew--Hopefully it is not something that will affect the oaks on the east coast. It really is tragic around here if the trees affected are not disposed of properly.

Mar 02, 2015 12:37 AM #9
Rainmaker
720,487
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Bob--Absolutely. Sadly there are no rules or laws for this...only recommendations. If your neighbor decides to cut down a diseased oak in the middle of summer, the entire neighborhood is at risk.

Mar 02, 2015 12:38 AM #10
Rainmaker
5,419,533
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I was not familiar with Oak Wilt. Thanks so much for the lesson.

Mar 02, 2015 11:38 PM #11
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