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Unformatted text preview: Oak Wilt I nt roduction Oak Wilt is an aggressive disease affecting oak species throughout the United States. Oak wilt is caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum (Bretz) Hunt. This fungus has been identified in twenty-one states and has been the cause of considerable damage in the Midwestern states. This fungus damages has been identified in 16 oak species, Quercus spp.. The fungus that causes oak wilt has been identified as an ascomycete. Oak wilt is mainly limited to the eastern United States and is one of the most serious tree diseases in this area. Oak wilt is a major damage causing disease killing thousands of oaks each year in wood lots, forests, and home landscapes. H istory Oak wilt was first identified in 1944 in Wisconsin. The pathogen Ceratocystis fagacearum that causes the oak wilt was difficult to isolate and identify. I t’s full impact wasn’t realized until the 1980’s. Some plant pathologists hypothesize that oak wilt is an exotic disease that was introduced into the U.S. in the early 1900’s. This is debated due to the lack of detection of said fungus in other countries. Economic Impact The economic impact of oak wilt has not been a very large one. The deaths of oak trees in the urban forest have an impact on the property values of houses, businesses, etc. The death of such trees not only decrease aesthetic value but with removal of said trees heating and cooling costs rise. The fungus even killing thousands a years has a very small impact on the total oak timber volume. One example is West Virginia with 70 percent of the land area covered in oak forest, with...
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- Spring '08
- Oak, Oak Wilt