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Rare oak disease found in Glenville

Glenville town officials will hold an informational session next week to discuss with residents the discovery of a mid-western oak disease affecting some trees in the Glen Oaks neighborhood.

Rick Georgeson, Public Information Officer for the State Department of Environmental conservation, said on Tuesday, Oct. 7, that a letter is going out to residents notifying them of the tree disease known as oak wilt. Georgeson said several trees found at several different homes will need to be cut down immediately.

"This is the first time this tree disease has been found in New York state. We believe it was possibly transported from firewood that originated out of the mid-western part of the country, where the oak wilt is more commonly found, but we cannot confirm that at this time," said Georgeson.

Georgeson said that as long as the trees are removed they can control the damage by not allowing the disease to spread. According to a written statement from DEC, they will remove diseased trees and sever underground roots using mechanized equipment to prevent the disease from spreading to healthy tress through the root systems. DEC staff expect to begin wide spread tree surveys during the week of Oct. 20, with dead and diseased trees removed by this winter.

Town administrator Anthony J. Germano said it is very important for residents to not try and remove any wood and or trees from their property, and to leave that up to trained DEC employees.

"We need to draw the circle tight and contain the problem in order to permanently get rid of it," said Germano.

Germano said the town will work with DEC to ensure that no other areas have already been affected by the Oak Wilt.

A public information meeting will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Glenville Senior Center, 32 Worden Road, Glenville. DEC officials will provide information about the local infestation, background on the disease and the steps DEC is proposing to eradicate the infestation. There will also be a question-and-answer period. Germano said that residents can also contact the DEC directly with questions, as well as visiting its Web site at www.dec.ny.gov/lands/46919.html.

"Hopefully we are quick enough. The meeting should answer any questions or concerns our residents may have," said Germano.""

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