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Officials seek public's help to prevent oak wilt disease

State officials are seeking the public's help in preventing the spread of a disease that kills oak trees. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says April 15 marked the beginning of the yearly period when oak wilt can be transmitted from diseased to healthy red oaks.

Forest health program specialist Roger Mech says red oaks often die within a few weeks after becoming infected. He says the best prevention method is not to prune or otherwise "injure" oaks between April 15 and July 15.

Oak wilt is spread this time of year as beetles move spores from fungal fruiting structures on trees killed the previous year to wounds on healthy oaks.

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