By LILY WILSON
On March 27, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that Oak Wilt Protective Zones have been established in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenwood Heights, Kings County; the Town of Canandaigua, Ontario County; and all of Suffolk County. These zones are the first line of defense in preventing the spread of oak wilt, a deadly tree disease.
“Across the country, oak wilt has killed tens of thousands of trees, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and economic loss,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New York is working strategically to prevent such devastating losses of oak trees in our state where oak is a widespread and valuable hardwood.”
The oak wilt fungus can spread from one oak to another even after the infected tree has died and moving potentially infected oak firewood, logs, and branch debris contributes to the spread of the disease. To prevent this, the Oak Wilt Protective Zones prohibit the removal of any living, dead, standing, cut, or fallen oak trees or any portion thereof, including branches, logs, stumps, or roots, green oak lumber, and firewood (of any species) out of the Protective Zone unless it has been chipped to less than one inch in two dimensions.
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