In this article from the Akron Beacon Journal, Davey's Gordon Matthews talks about oak wilt and what it means for trees with the disease.
By Mary Beth Breckenridge
Published: July 25, 2014
The 172-foot-tall red oak in Gayle Palshook’s yard has been part of her life for more than 50 years.
She and her two siblings used to climb the centuries-old tree as kids. Today it stands as something of a living memorial to her late parents, who agreed when they bought the property in 1962 that they would never cut its oaks down.
Now that grand tree is dying, apparently a victim of a fast-moving disease called oak wilt. To Palshook, it’s a little like losing a member of the family.
“Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe it’s going to be dead in a few weeks,” she said as she looked up at a leafy canopy that is still mostly green, except for some brown leaves near the top. “… I’m in denial.”
Palshook first noticed a problem a few weeks ago, when green leaves started dropping from the tree, many of them browning at the edges. She looked up into the tree and noticed a limb with dead leaves.
An arborist with the Davey Tree Expert Co. examined the tree and sent samples for a laboratory analysis. Although the results aren’t back yet, all the signs point to oak wilt, said Gordon Matthews, the company’s Akron-area district manager.
The disease that attacks all types of oaks can kill certain kinds with alarming speed — sometimes, in just weeks.
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