“Oak wilt disease has recently been found near the Lake Owen.  Your help is needed to slow the spread!

Oak wilt disease was first detected in Bayfield County in 2018, but the number of known cases in the Cable Lakes area has increased significantly in 2019.  Oak wilt is the most deadly disease facing oaks in Wisconsin and kills red oaks within 1 month after infection.  Death of oaks can create hazardous trees, reduce property values and aesthetics, and may reduce wildlife habitat and water quality.  The disease can easily move from tree to tree through grafted roots, making control costly and difficult.  Prevention is the best approach.

There were confirmed cases of the disease on properties near Lake Owen in 2019; it is highly likely there are more cases on other properties.

Several simple prevention steps:

  • Don’t prune, wound, or cut down oak trees April through July every year.  If oak are cut, injured by storms or other sources, apply a pruning paint (latex paint fine) to the stump or wound surface ASAP, but not more than 48 hours later.
  • Keep firewood local and know if the wood may be diseased.  Do not transport firewood long distances to your property.
  • Become familiar with oak wilt symptoms and call your local DNR or county forestry office for help with diagnosis.

Know the symptoms:

  • Rapid leaf drop late June – September.  Generally starts at the top and outside of the crown and moved down and inward.
  • Fallen leaves with a brown or bronze colored edge and green center or base.
  • Groups of dead oaks indicating root graft spread of the disease.

Together we can ensure our beautiful oaks and surrounding forests stay healthy and vigorous for decades to come.

For more information about Emerald Ash Borers and Oak Wilt Disease in Bayfield County:


For more information on oak wilt diagnosis, prevention, and control, please contact:

Paul Cigan, Wisconsin DNR Forest Health Specialist for  N.W. Wisconsin.

10220 N. State Hwy 27 South, Hayward, WI 54843
Phone: 715-416-4920