Now and then, we get blessed with a chance to take part in activities which aim at sharing information on the importance of forests as well as ways in which our woods can get conserved. We love taking part in events which are to the benefit of our Michigan forests as they allow us to inform our members of any new issues facing our woods and ways in which we can be of help to the forests in need of better management. We get to have our say in various areas which affect the quality of our forests such as policies as well as research endeavors. As of now, we are taking part in a few initiatives which we believe are essential in ensuring that we get to conserve the natural resources in our possession. Our initiatives better enable us to educate our members on a lot of factors that affect the forestry industry, and this helps us become stronger over time.

View in the lake

The Michigan Oak Wilt Coalition

The risk of oak wilt varies by season and as such, there are times when we need to step in and help people manage the situation. The threat is most significant between mid-April and mid-July. It later reduces between mid-March and mid-April as well as between mid-July and mid-October. It is considered safest during the period that lies between November 1st and the fourteenth of March. It is vital that people understand what oak wilt is and what effects it will have on their trees if they should be unlucky enough to get affected. Oak wilt is a disease caused by a fungus, and it occurs in trees of the oak species. What the disease does is that it causes the leaves of the trees to wilt and they later turn brown. For white oaks affected by the disease, they have a chance of survival. However, when it comes to red oaks, the disease can cause the death of a tree, and this has gotten witnessed in the cases of species such as pin oak and the black oak. Unfortunately for Michigan, the occurrence of this disease has grown within the last few years, and as such, it became necessary for various stakeholders to step in and find a way to deal with the issue.

The spreading of oak wilt

Infected trees can pass on the disease to healthy trees in some ways. First, the roots of the infected tree can move on the fungus to those unaffected but lie adjacent to those suffering from wilt. Another way that this fungus can get spread is by beetles. There is a particular kind of beetle species which can carry spores from infected tree parts and pass them on to a healthy tree. There are human activities which aid in the spread of the disease and these include but are not limited to pruning during sensitive periods as well as the handling of infected firewood. Spreading oak wilt is one of the priorities of the Foresters Association.

How to identify your oak tree

Oak trees in Michigan get classified into two categories. The first type is white and the second is red. The latter are more likely to succumb to oak wilt than the former. If your tree has leaf lobes that appear pointed, it is a red oak. White oaks have rounded lobes in their leaves.

Oak tree

How to deal with oak wilt

There are many strategies at your disposal when it comes to dealing with this problem. Some practices can get put to use as a way to prevent the spread of the disease as well as to deal with the existing problem. The best way to go about dealing with this disease is to prevent its occurrence by all means possible. One such manner is by ensuring that no harm comes to the trees when beetles are active to prevent the spreading of infected spores. You should also separate the roots of trees to prevent the spread of the fungus through the root systems. We support this initiative which aims to help farmers deal with oak wilt by providing them with essential information on the precautions to be taken when dealing with diseased trees as well as how to prune and harvest trees. With the information we get from this organization, we are in a position to better educate our members on the disease, and they can spread the message to other tree farmers.

National Woodland Owner Survey

We are happy to announce that we will work together to fund the National Woodland Owner Survey to get conducted in the year 2018. The purpose of the survey is to create questions that will get sent to an extra five hundred forest owners in the state of Michigan. The results of the study will represent the opinions of these landowners as well as their motivations and their attitudes towards woods. The reasoning behind such a survey is that if we can get to a level where we understand the undertakings of these landowners in a better manner, then we can be in a position to better serve their needs as well as those of the public.