Ask Burton: Q: My mature live oaks have struggled this year, and a tree guy driving up my street asking to trim trees let me know that I needed to treat my trees for oak wilt. He said that’s why my trees looked weak. They’re not as thick and healthy as last year, but they are still mostly green with only a few dead branches. Do I need to have him treat? He wants to use a spray.

A: Most oaks that look weaker than usual this year are a direct result of the freeze back in February.

If your trees were infected with oak wilt, the only treatment that works best is an injected preventative, not a spray. If your trees had been infected all season long, it’s questionable how much even that treatment would benefit you at this point. It’s also likely your trees would already be near death, and look like it.

Fertilize your trees this September, and just be patient. Most live oaks will recover, but it takes time.