- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - Binder Park Zoo near Battle Creek in southern Michigan will remove some oak trees from its property to prevent the spread of oak wilt.

The zoo says Monday that the fungal disease has affected 50 trees. Some already have been removed.

The fungus is transported by beetles to wounded trees and spreads to other oak trees through root grafts underground. It is found in about two dozen states.

After a tree is removed, most of it has to be destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading. Stumps also have to be pulled to prevent the spread through the root system. The wood still can be used as lumber once stripped of bark and branches.

Zoo officials say they will remove one to two trees each year, if needed.

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