Hamilton, Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek, Brantford, Brant: 905‑529‑5612

Burlington, Waterdown: 905‑637‑1919


Protecting Your Oaks: A Guide to Identifying and Managing Oak Wilt

Let's explore how to identify Oak Wilt, its symptoms, and what steps you can take to protect your oaks

One significant threat that oak trees face is Oak Wilt, a deadly vascular disease that can quickly devastate these majestic trees if not identified and addressed promptly.

What is Oak Wilt? 

Oak Wilt is a fungal disease caused by the pathogen Ceratocystis fagacearum. It primarily affects oak trees, disrupting their water-conducting vessels and leading to wilting, browning of leaves, and, ultimately, death. This disease is a serious concern for oak tree owners, as it can spread rapidly, especially during the warmer months.

How do I identify Oak Wilt symptoms? 

There are a handful of symptoms to be on the lookout for when trying to identify Oak Wilt: 

  • Leaf Discoloration - Look for wilting and browning of leaves, starting at the tips or edges and progressing inward. Leaves may show a bronze or red discoloration, resembling symptoms similar to drought stress.
  • Vein Discoloration - If you suspect Oak Wilt, examine the veins of affected leaves. A characteristic pattern is a brown discoloration between veins, creating a "vein-banding" appearance.

  • Leaf Drop - Premature leaf drop, especially outside the typical fall season, is another red flag for Oak Wilt.
  • Cankers on the Bark - Examine the bark for dark, sunken areas known as cankers. These can develop on branches and the main trunk.
  • Fungal Mats - In some cases, fungal mats may form under the bark, particularly during the spring. If you notice any unusual growth or discoloration, give us a call and we'll send one of our ISA-certified arborists to your property to give you a free on-site assessment. 

What Should I Do If I Suspect Oak Wilt?

  • Give Us a Call! - If you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is crucial to consult with us promptly. We can conduct a thorough assessment and provide a diagnosis.
  • Fungicide Treatment - Early detection and intervention are crucial for successful treatment. We can recommend fungicide treatments for managing Oak Wilt. 

Protecting your oak trees from Oak Wilt requires vigilance, prompt action, and professional expertise. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, you can contribute to the health and longevity of these iconic trees in our community. If you have concerns about Oak Wilt or other tree-related issues, feel free to reach out to Beswick Tree Service for expert guidance and assistance. 


In June 2023, the first confirmed detection of oak wilt was found in Canada

Oak wilt has been found in the following locations:

  • City of Niagara Falls, Ontario (first confirmed detection of oak wilt in Canada);
  • Township of Springwater, Ontario;
  • Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

To help prevent the spread, movement restrictions are in place on affected properties. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working with other federal, provincial and municipal governments to survey the area and determine next steps.

Report any potentially infected trees to


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We serve homes and businesses located in Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Dundas, Burlington, Waterdown, Brantford, and Brant County. Call us today for a free on-site assessment by one of our ISA-certified arborists!

Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Dundas: 905‑529‑5612
Burlington, Waterdown: 905‑637‑1919

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