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No oak tree trimming Feb. 1-June 30 in Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay oak wilt prevention

The city of Horseshoe Bay wants residents to curtail oak tree trimming Feb. 1-June 30 to reduce the chance of oak wilt spreading to other trees. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Horseshoe Bay residents have a few more days to trim their oak trees until an annual four-month moratorium begins. Under its Tree Trimming Protection ordinance, the city of Horseshoe Bay prohibits trimming or cutting of oaks trees from Feb. 1-June 30.

This is to reduce the spread of oak wilt, a disease that can infect all species of oaks. Oak wilt is caused by a fungus that blocks or disables the tree’s water-conducting system, leading to leaf loss and eventually killing the tree. The issue for city leaders is that once oak wilt takes hold of one tree, it soon spreads to other oaks.

Disease prevention is much more painless than the cures, which are trenching and fungicide injections. The disease is more prevalent from February through June, when fungal spore formation and sap beetle activity are rampant.

The ordinance only applies to oak tree trimming, City Manager Stan Farmer said.

The City Council adopted the ordinance in February 2019 to help homeowners protect oak trees, prevent costly treatments, and maintain the city’s natural charm.

“This is about preserving the natural beauty of Horseshoe Bay and how to handle the oak trees,” Farmer added.

Check out the city’s notice for more information on the spring oak trimming prohibition. For more information on oak wilt and its prevention and treatment, visit the Texas A&M Forest Service’s oak wilt website.