Jennifer Juzwik, USDA Forest Service, St. Paul, MN;
David N. Appel, Texes A&M University, College Station, TX;
William L. MacDonald, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV; and
Susan Burks, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, MN
Oak wilt, caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, is an important disease of oaks (Quercus spp.) in the eastern United States. It has been particularly destructive in the North Central states and Texas. Oak wilt is one of several significant oak diseases that threaten oak health worldwide. The significant gains made in our knowledge of the biology and epidemiology of this vascular wilt disease during the past six decades has led to development of various management strategies. Interest in oak wilt research and management has “waxed and waned” since the pathogen was initially discovered in the early 1940s. This ambivalence, accompanied by emphasis on newly emerging oak diseases such as sudden oak death and Raffaelea-caused wilt of oaks in Japan and Korea, could have very costly consequences. Today, C. fagacearum remains a deadly pathogen, particularly of red and live oak species, and the fungus has demonstrated the capacity to impact a variety of ecosystems with disastrous results.