According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” They shade your home or business, cutting your summer cooling bill and raising your property value. Trees and shrubs provide food and cover for songbirds and other wild creatures. Cool, green foliage creates a peaceful setting where you can deal with the stresses of daily life. Around your community, trees cleanse and cool the air, buffer wind and noise, protect water quality, prevent soil erosion, screen unsightly areas, and provide a setting for outdoor recreation.
While 20 years ago might have been the best time to plant a tree, the second best time is right now. However, in general, trees tend to be the happiest when planted late fall through early spring. This way, the heat of summer and the tree budding does not stress the root system while it is trying to get established.
For more tips about trees in the Permian Basin, please download our Tree Guide For The Permian Basin.
Oak Wilt is caused by a fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum, that clogs the water-conducting tissues of infected trees, causing them to wilt and die.
Oak Wilt in Live Oaks can be recognized by the leaf veins turning yellow or brown while the rest of the leaf remains green (see photo below). Leaf drop follows and trees die in two to four months. In Red Oaks, leaves will wilt or suddenly turn brown and hang on the tree. Infected trees generally die in two weeks.
The disease primarily affects Red Oak species, including Spanish, Texas, Shumard, Pin, and Blackjack. They typically die within 2-4 weeks of symptom appearance. White oaks are the least susceptible. Very few have been identified with oak wilt in Texas. They generally survive for a number of years with the disease. Common White Oak species includes Post, Bur, Chinkapin, and Monterrey.
This serious disease has killed more than one million trees in central Texas. Unfortunately, Midland County is one of only six west Texas counties with confirmed cases of Oak Wilt, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Oak wilt spreads long distances with the aid of sap-feeding (Nitidulid) beetles. These beetles are about the size of the ball on the end of a straight pin.
They are attracted to the fruity-smelling fungal mats that form underneath the bark of diseased oaks. The fungal mats produce spores and have a ridge down the center that lifts the bark creating a tiny crack.
Once established, the fungus moves from one tree to the next through common or grafted roots.
Because live oaks tend to grow from root spouts and can form root grafts very readily, all of the live oaks within a given area share a common root system. The pathogen can spread through this system at an average rate of 75 feet per year.
Keep Midland Beautiful, Inc
3500 N A St Ste 1500 • Midland, TX 79705
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