Niles SMC campus to host seminar on preventing spread of oak wilt

NILES — To help homeowners, arborists and tree services identify and prevent the spread of oak wilt, a free educational presentation is being hosted by ReLeaf Michigan, a nonprofit tree organization, The Berrien Conservation District, and the SW X SW Corner CISMA.

The seminar will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, at the Niles Campus Southwestern Michigan College in room 134. Check in for the seminar will take place from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Oak wilt, a fungal disease affecting oak trees, is moving through Michigan.  While the disease can impact all oaks, the red oak family is the most susceptible, often dying within three months of becoming infected.

Respected plant pathologist, David Roberts, who earned a doctorate at Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will provide an overview of the disease and outline its biggest concerns.

Oak trees make up a significant percentage of Michigan’s forests. Seminar leaders said it is important to know how to spot Oak wilt and what actions to take.

Presentation topics will cover the disease, how it affects oak trees, and how it is transmitted via sap beetles to fresh wounds and through root grafts. Other topics will include how to manage oak wilt once identified, important dates and restrictions, what to do with diseased wood, and guidelines for hiring a tree service or arborist.

The Niles Southwestern Michigan College campus is located at 33890 US Hwy 12 Niles.

Those interested are asked to RSVP: Seating is limited. RSVP to Nancy Carpenter, Berrien Conservation District (269) 471-9111 ext. 3, or email nancy.carpenter@macd.org