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The first symptom of oak wilt in red oaks is usually browning and wilting of leaves in the upper crown in early summer, as seen here.

Oak wilt has been found in the area. The fungus can kill a mature oak tree in one or two seasons.

According to the Department of Conservation, in Missouri, oak wilt fungus is spread primarily when sap-feeding beetles carry oak wilt spores to fresh wounds during the early part of the growing season. Once established in a tree, oak wilt can move though root grafts connecting nearby oaks.

If you have an oak tree, specifically a pin oak, MDC recommends taking proper precautions when trimming the tree branches as open wounds may allow the fungus into the tree. Do not prune oak trees from mid-March until July 1.

"Most importantly, if you have an infected tree that is removed it is critical the wood is disposed of properly, even if it’s just the trimmings from the tree," states a release.

For other oak wilt details, visit mdc.mo.gov

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