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Experts say it's time to prune your oak trees to prevent oak wilt

Construction workers lift an oak tree to move it to the other side of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.
Construction workers lift an oak tree to move it to the other side of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

As temperatures drop, an expert says now is the best time to prune oak trees to help prevent oak wilt.

Oak wilt is a fungal disease which blocks the flow of water and nutrients from the roots of the tree to the top.

It can cause leaves to slowly wilt and fall off and eventually kill the tree.

Simeon Wright is a forest health specialist with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources.

He says beetles that are most active in the spring and summer usually spread the disease.

“Oak trees are most likely to become infected when they're pruned. If you wait until the end of the growing season, until late fall and into the winter, there's no more risk of infections. So it's a completely safe time to prune oak trees.”

Wright says oak trees should be pruned every year but no more than 25% of the crown of the tree should be removed.