In 2021, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed Oak Wilt in both Cass and Crow Wing Counties for the first time. It is a fungal disease that infects all species of oaks but is particularly lethal to those in the red oak group. Red oak species die in as little as two months after infection. Bur oaks tend to die within one to seven years, and white oaks die between one and twenty years.
Simple measures can prevent oak wilt and there are control options if it's caught early. But control can be expensive. Look for and report oak wilt in red oak trees on your property or in your neighborhood.
Oak wilt is harder to identify on trees in the white oak group (rounded lobes) and often requires laboratory testing.