Pruning Seal to Prevent Oak Wilt?

Asked May 22, 2020, 3:55 PM EDT

My mom has a large White Oak that had two big limbs cut from it today (May 22). I know this should not have happened this time of the year, due to threat of Oak Wilt, but it is too late, as the pruning has already been done! My question is - should we seal up the wounds with pruning paint, or some other type of material, or leave the tree alone? I have read pros and cons of this, but am really concerned about the timing of this pruning and the long term health of the tree. Thank you!

Genesee County Michigan

3 Responses

Too bad we can't put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Yes, seal the wound with pruning sealer, fast. The insects carrying the disease can sometimes find the exposed tissue within minutes. Read more here: https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/smart-gardening-to-prevent-oak-wilt

Good luck!

Thank you for your fast response! I already sealed the tree yesterday right away as I was terrified of what might happen if I didn’t! I appreciate you confirming this was the appropriate course of action.

Kim Beard, Goodrich, MI

Very good Kim. We seldom ever recommend pruning sealants otherwise because they interfere with the trees natural ability to heal, which they do quite well normally. We do for oaks in season however because of the gravity of the oak wilt situation that threatens tree loss.

Good luck!