What is an Oak Wilt Specialist?

Many Tree Companies spin their limited experience and knowledge into a positive by calling themselves “Oak Wilt Specialists”. What is an Oak Wilt Specialist? A specialist used to be a person with a broad knowledge of the subject (Trees in this case) and decided to really focus in on a specific. Unfortunately that is not the case here in Texas. An OWS is someone who ONLY knows how to treat for Oak Wilt. It’s like calling yourself Turf Specialist because you mow lawns… it’s just spin.

Injecting trees for Oak Wilt (or anything) takes about 1 day to master. Thats it. It is a service that is easy to scale out, but you have to really apply yourself to Sales and Google SEO, that’s where the investment of time and learning really is in this market. I would think twice about the company that consistently comes up first in a search. Where is their time and effort really spent? I would bet that most “OWS” spend more time perfecting their sales technique than they do reading white papers. In that scenario, the tree loses. the Tree owner loses.

The bigger part of that problem is, when all you have is a hammer, EVERYTHING starts to look like a nail… Its a bad culture we are growing. If a company only does one thing, and they are revenue motivated, What do you think their answer will be when they inspect your trees?

Arborists should gain a more broad set of skills when it comes to trees, because not everything is a nail. The more you know about Trees, Tree problems, and Tree solutions, the more tools you will have in your bag. The more perspective you will have, and the more knowledge you will be able to draw from. Trees are alive and a central part of a very large community of living, changing, organisms, and as life changes and adapts to it’s environment. So must we. When out perspective is so narrow as to only see one thing, we will miss everything… We need to have Balance in everything.

So ask yourself, Is a narrow “Specialist” really in your best interest…

John Walters


Written by John Walters

John is an ISA Certified Arborist and one of the most broadly experienced Arborists in the Region. With 35 years in the industry and in 4 different Regions of the US. The Northeast, The South (humid swamp climate), The South (Hill Country/Desert), and the Rocky Mountains (Both Desert Valleys, and High Elevation Mountains) there is not another Arborist here in Central Texas who has seen as many different problems, or solutions.

October 31, 2022

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