Canadian Forest Service Publications

Assessing the climate suitability and potential economic impacts of Oak wilt in Canada. Pedlar, J.H., McKenney, D.W., Hope, E., Reed, S., Sweeney, J., Scientific Reports (2020) 10:19391.

Year: 2020

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40318

Language: English

Series: Miscellaneous Report (GLFC - Sault Ste. Marie)

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-75549-w

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Plain Language Summary

Oak wilt is a disease that kills oak trees and is caused by a fungus named Bretziella fagacearum. Though not currently found in Canada, our distribution models indicate that suitable climate conditions currently occur in southern Ontario for B. fagacearum and two of its main insect dispersal vectors, Colopterus truncatus and Carpophilus sayi. Under climate change, much of the oak range in eastern Canada is projected to become climatically suitable for these species within the next two decades. Based on estimates from our urban tree survey, potential costs for the removal and replacement of oak street trees is expected to vary between CDN$266 and $420 million. The timber value of oak in eastern Canada was estimated at CDN$126 million using provincial stumpage fees and as a CDN$24 million annual contribution to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) when calculated using a combination of economic and forestry product statistics. These values can help inform the scale of eradication and/or management efforts in the event of future oak wilt introductions.