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For Release: Friday, March 28, 2014

Oak Trees to be Removed in Glenville Neighborhood

Tree crews will remove approximately 17 oak wilt infested trees in the Glen Oaks neighborhood of Glenville on Tuesday, April 1, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced. All the trees are expected to be removed in one day.

"Unfortunately, the 2009 removal effort did not completely eradicate oak wilt from the area despite our best efforts to remove and treat all diseased trees," said DEC Regional Director Gene Kelly. "I would like to commend the town of Glenville for their continued support and cooperation in this eradication effort."

After a concerned Glen Oaks resident provided oak samples in October 2013 that tested positive for the disease, DEC investigated and identified 17 trees that need to be removed to protect the remaining oak trees in the area and stop the spread of the disease. This aggressive eradication response is warranted and feasible to address this serious disease because the infestation is relatively small and isolated in area.

The stumps of the removed trees will be treated with a pesticide to prevent the fungus from spreading to other trees through the root systems. DEC will monitor all remaining oak trees in the neighborhood for disease symptoms for the next several growing seasons.

DEC contacted impacted property owners and informed them about oak wilt and provided them with information about how to protect remaining oak trees in the area.

Oak wilt was confirmed for the first time in New York State in 2008 in the Glen Oaks neighborhood and an eradication effort was undertaken in the spring of 2009. DEC worked with oak wilt experts from the U.S. Forest Service and the impacted homeowners to develop the science-based eradication plan. There is no known treatment to contain the infestation and kill the oak wilt fungus other than to remove the infected trees as well as any surrounding host oak trees.

Last fall, DEC issued an emergency order prohibiting the removal of any living, dead, standing, cut or fallen oak trees or any portion thereof, including branches, logs, stumps or roots, green oak lumber and firewood (of any species) outside of the immediate area unless it has been chipped to less than one inch in two dimensions. The movement of unchipped materials could result in the spread of the disease. Landowners are reminded not to prune oak trees this spring to further prevent the spread of the disease.

Oak wilt is a very serious tree disease in the eastern United States, killing thousands of oaks each year in forests, woodlots and home landscapes. It is caused by a fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum. The fungus grows in the water conducting vessels of host trees and as it does, it causes the vessels to produce gummy plugs that prevent water transport. As water movement within the tree is slowed, the leaves wilt and drop off, and eventually the tree dies.

While prevalent throughout the upper Mississippi River region, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas, the closest known oak wilt infestation to Glenville is about 200 miles west in central Pennsylvania.

For more information about oak wilt or DEC's firewood movement restrictions, please call the Forest Health Information Line toll-free at 1-866-640-0652 or visit DEC's website.

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