Trees are a precious commodity on the South Plains. They can increase a lands value, provide shade, and generally look pleasing to the eye. However, an untreatable fungus is spreading in Lubbock that causes imminent death in oak trees. Today, on Lubbock's First News, Vikram Baliga of Texas A&M Agrilife filled listeners in on the details.

Oak Wilt is a fungal disease that can be spread by insects or through contact with an infected tree's roots. While not presenting any danger to humans or animals, Oak Wilt will cause rapid death in oaks. Vikram Baliga of Texas A&M Agrilife explained "once Oak Wilt is contracted, all you can do is slow it down. You can't cure it once the tree has it."

Signs of infection include a brown hue to the veins of oak leaves, or scorched edges to leaves, a sign resembling sever water stress. Ways to minimize the spread of this disease include knowing where infected trees are located, avoiding pruning from mid-February to late June, digging trenches between infected and non-infected trees, and using preventive fungicide on oak trees thought to be at risk. James Tuttle of Tree Loving Care also joined in on the discussion via cellphone, and commented on the importance of pruning trees correctly to minimize the risk of infection.

Vikram Baliga can be contacted at (806) 775-1680.
To contact Tree Loving Care, call (806) 785-8733.

To hear the full interview, click the play button below:

To listen on a mobile device, click the following link: KFYO LFN Vikram Baliga_June 5 2014

More From News/Talk 95.1 & 790 KFYO