City vows to help combat a new threat to its urban forest.
Ann Arbor officials committed an additional $1M this year to catch up on tree maintenance. None too soon, as the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has pinpointed a new threat to the city's urban forest.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials state Oak Wilt is now well-established in the state, and can kill Red Oaks quickly. The fungus blocks water from getting up the tree, and kills within weeks of the first signs of the problem. Forest Health Program Manager, Roger Mech, says prevention is the key to stopping Oak Wilt. Mech attests that "once the disease gets in, unfortunately because this fungus moves so quickly, there's not a lot of options.
Mech states the disease is spread by insects, primarily from mid-April through mid-July. Therefore, Oaks shouldn't be pruned during this period. Moving firewood is another threat, spreading the disease to uninfected areas.