The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that tree crews will remove approximately 17 oak wilt infested trees in the Glen Oaks neighborhood of Glenville on Tuesday, April 1. All the trees are expected to be removed in one day.
The stumps of the removed trees will be treated with a pesticide to prevent the fungus from spreading to other trees through the root system. DEC will monitor all remaining oak trees in the neighborhood for disease symptoms for the next several growing seasons.
After a concerned Glen Oaks resident provided oak samples in October 2013 that tested positive for the disease, DEC investigated and identified 17 trees that need to be removed in order to protect the remaining oak trees in the area and stop the spread of the disease.
This aggressive eradication response is warranted and feasible to address this serious disease because the infestation is relatively small and isolated in area.
Oak wilt was confirmed for the first time in New York State in 2008 in the Glen Oaks neighborhood and an eradication effort was undertaken in the spring of 2009. DEC worked with oak wilt experts from the US Forest Service and the impacted homeowners to develop the science-based eradication plan. There is no known treatment to contain the infestation and kill the oak wilt fungus other than to remove the infected trees as well as any surrounding host oak trees.
Last fall a DEC emergency order was issued prohibiting the removal of any living, dead, standing, cut or fallen oak trees or any portion thereof, including branches, logs, stumps or roots, green oak lumber and firewood (of any species) outside of the immediate area unless it has been chipped to less than one inch in two dimensions. The movement of un-chipped materials could result in the spread of the disease. Landowners are reminded not to prune oak trees this spring to further prevent the spread of the disease.