In the news story “Fungus lays waste to oak trees in Pittsburgh parks” , the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's director of park management and maintenance policies said nearly 200 large oak trees have been cut down in city parks, including 58 in Schenley Park, because of oak wilt.
Awful, yes, but by removing these, other trees throughout the parks will be saved, since the fungus that causes oak wilt can infect other trees through root systems and beetles.
Thanks to one conscientious park user who paid attention, many other trees in the parks stand a chance.
This person knew the signs of oak wilt (bronzing and wilting of upper leaves, leaves that turn brown along the edges and shedding of green leaves in midsummer) and sounded the alarm.
Given another year or two, the fungus would have taken an even greater toll on the parks.
So, take note! We can all help keep our trees healthy.
Watch for symptoms of oak wilt, emerald ash borer (D-shaped holes in ash bark) and hemlock woolly adelgid (white cottony egg sacs on hemlock branches).
Don't move firewood. Make sure you prune your trees at the appropriate time of year.
Together, we can keep our park, street and backyard trees standing tall.
Greer Argyros Mulholland
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