In an email received by Supervisor Ron Van Zee from David L. Roberts, Ph.D., Senior Academic Specialist, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, David writes
“As explained over the phone, I would not worry about getting the cut wood out of the clearance area each day, unless you simply desire to do so. Sap beetles that carry the OW fungus arrive within minutes of injury to oak trees. Hence, the sap beetles and OW fungus (if in the area) are already present regardless of where the wood is. The sap beetles may transmit the fungus to cut branches, wood chips and logs but the disease will go nowhere due to drying of the cut wood material. The OW fungus needs live standing trees to infect and be successful at reproduction and spread. Your main concerns when doing land clearing include doing no injury to oaks that are intended to be left standing (if injured, utilize prompt repair by making a fresh cut or immediately sealing the injury with a paint) and prompt (immediate) sealing (painting, or covering with mulch or soil, etc.) of stumps unless they are to be ground out within a couple of days. “
Township officials painted all remaining oak stumps and instructed the contractor to notify officials immediately of any damage to standing oaks so that measures can be taken to prevent the spread of oak wilt fungus.