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DNR warns homeowners to be on lookout for tree killer

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The Department of Natural Resources is warning landowners about a tree-killer that pops up this time of year.

It’s called oak wilt. Joanne Foreman is the Invasive Species Communications Coordinator for the DNR. She says pruning trees between now and mid-July would give the oak wilt fungus the opportunity to infect your trees.

“Red Oaks are more susceptible to oak wilt than white oaks. You can tell the difference because Red Oaks have pointy leaf ends where White Oaks have rounded leaf.”

Trees die within weeks of being infected.

“If your tree is accidentally wounded, that you can try to do your best to save it by painting the wound with latex paint.”

If leaves in the center of the tree start to die or fall off, it’s time to call an arborist. You probably won’t save the tree, but an expert could help prevent oak wilt from spreading to other trees.