3. fresh wood Oak trees grow very well without any pruning. Pruning is not necessary for the health of oak trees. Why don’t we just spray all of the sap beetles?
How long have we been fighting mosquitoes, house flies, cockroaches, fire ants, grasshoppers etc.. You are not going to control the sap beetles any better.
Prevention of oak wilt:
1. Immediately paint all wounds and cuts on all oaksin all seasons, whether the branch removed is dead or alive.
Any time you prune an oak, any oak, including live oaks, Spanish oaks, blackjack oaks, Monterey oaks, Bigelow oaks, shin oaks, bur oaks, post oaks, lacey oaks, chinquapin oaks etc., paint the wound. If the tree is not an oak, if it is a cedar elm, sycamore, ashe juniper, a cherry, do not paint the wound. Non-oaks do not get oak wilt.Only oaks get oak wilt. The purpose of the paint is not to seal the wound. You are just putting some “goop” on the wound to make it unattractive to the sap beetle. You must paint the wound immediately - cut and paint, cut and paint. You can use any type of paint, such as cheap spray paint, water-based latex in a spray can, etc. It does not have to be the expensive black pruning paint. (Note: Auto undercoat spray paint at Walmart is cheap and work well.) You just need paint on the wound for 3 days. After about 3 to 4 days, the tree will start to heal and there is no longer sap coming to the surface. There is then nothing attractive to the sap beetle and your tree is safe. If you prune, and then come back 3 or 4 days later to paint, it is too late. The branches that you have pruned off do not need to be painted since they are no longer attached to the tree, and thus the sap and the beetle are not a threat to the tree.
2. If you have a red oak (Spanish or blackjack) oak that you suspect died of oak wilt (e.g. a Spanish oak turns red and dies suddenly in June), you should destroy the tree by cutting it down and burning it, or burying it, or girdle the tree as low on the trunk as possible to dry the tree out as rapidly as possible. Each of these steps is intended to prevent the red oak from forming fungal mats. It is good to destroy diseased red oaks in this manner, but there is so much innoculant around Tierra Linda, that this might be only a minor contribution to preventing the spread of oak wilt.