Residents in the clear to prune oak trees, as risk of invasive disease is low
Oak wilt is a fungal disease spread by beetles that causes a rapid loss of leaves followed by sudden death in oak trees.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources warns residents to hold off on trimming oak trees through the summer, when exposed sap can attract disease-carrying insects.
Now that temperatures have dropped and trees are dormant, the state is giving the go-ahead to prune oak trees.
Winter pruning can promote tree growth and is also recommended for elms, ash and apple trees, which are susceptible to other fungal infections.
Before pruning anytime of the year, always double-check to see if the species is vulnerable to diseases and can handle the stress of pruning.
The state also reminds residents not to transport firewood, which can spread invasive species and diseases.
Editor's note: In the interest of transparency, the Michigan DNR is a financial supporter of WCMU.