MIDDLESEX, N.Y. (AP) — A fungus that kills thousands of oak trees each year in the eastern United States has been found in a fifth county in New York state.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says oak wilt was confirmed in the Yates County town of Middlesex after a homeowner contacted the agency to report several oak trees dropping leaves in July and rapidly dying.

The current treatment method is to remove infected trees as well as nearby oaks that could become infected. DEC said it will conduct aerial and ground surveys over the next few weeks to identify additional infected trees.

Oak wilt made its first appearance in New York in the Schenectady County town of Glenville in 2008. It has since been found in Ontario, Suffolk and Kings counties.

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