ERCA Concerned Over Oak Wilt

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is hoping to keep a fungal disease that kills some types of trees out of Essex County.

It is joining Windsor, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to increase monitoring and awareness of oak wilt.

The disease has been found across the border on Belle Isle and according to ERCA Forester Robert Davies, that's close enough.

Davies says it attacks a specific type of oak tree.

"Specifically in the Red Oak family, it causes quick mortality. So you can lose an 80-year-old tree within a one month period."

He says it's a major concern for the tree covered areas in Essex County.

"Across our landscape in Essex County a large component of our woodlot is oak forest."

Davies says one way to protect oak trees is to not prune them from April to August to prevent contact with picnic beetles, which spread the disease.

Although he doesn't think the impacts will be as severe as the Emerald Ash Borer which killed thousand of trees in this area, he believes the impacts could still be great.

— with files from AM800's Kathie McMann