Brian Schwingle

Preventing Spread of Pathogen
11:29 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Avoid Oak Wilt: Don't Prune Too Soon

If an oak tree rapidly loses its leaves, it could be due to oak wilt.
Credit Ronald Billings / Texas Forest Service

Now that it’s April, experts say don't prune oak trees until after July…if you want to keep them safe from the oak wilt pathogen.  Oak wilt is a deadly fungus that gets transmitted through tiny sap beetles. 

DNR Forest Health specialist Brian Schwingle says oak wilt works in a similar way as Dutch elm disease, which devastated North American elm populations in the 20th century.  Both are fungal diseases spread through beetles.  But Schwingle says out of the two, oak wilt is much easier to prevent. 

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Natural Resources
2:24 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Oak Wilt Arrives in Minocqua-Woodruff

Oak wilt may be spreading north in Wisconsin.
Credit Ronald Billings / Texas Forest Service

A lethal tree disease has been found for the first time in near Woodruff.  Oak wilt is prevalent in southern and central Wisconsin.  But tests have confirmed its presence in the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest. 

DNR Forest insect and disease Specialist Brian Schwingle says the finding is significant.               

“It’s concerning that we found it on our largest state property, the Northern American Legion state forest, where oak is an extremely valuable tree.”

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