The lower leaves on my white oak tree seem to be turning brown and wilting. Is this oak wilt?
Based upon your description, I doubt you are seeing oak wilt but rather another fungal disease called anthracnose. Anthracnose is a common foliage disease of many of our indigenous shade trees. The disease commonly affects sycamore, maple, ash, linden, bur and white oak. The disease is particularly prevalent on white oaks this year. Anthracnose usually occurs on the lower portion of the tree while oak wilt usually starts in the upper portion of the tree. Another main difference is the timing of the diseases. Anthracnose is commonly associated with cool, wet springs and exhibits leaf symptoms in spring, conversely oak wilt exhibits symptoms in the summer months. Anthracnose damage does not have a long lasting impact on tree health. Many of the trees in our parks are producing a second flush of foliage which will help in the recovery process. By the end of the summer, these trees will look "normal".