CENTRAL ISLIP - The state Department of Environmental Conservation says oak wilt disease was recently found in four trees not far from Connetquot State Park.
Officials say it's only the second time it's been found in New York. The infection is devastating for red oak trees, which is one of the most prevalent trees on Long Island.
State officials say the four infected trees were removed from private property on Allwood Avenue in Central Islip. Residents in the area are worried their trees may be next.
There is no known way to contain or eradicate oak wilt.
The state has issued an emergency order that establishes a "red oak-free zone," which calls for all red oaks within 150 feet of the ones that were removed to also be removed and destroyed to keep the disease from spreading.
State officials say homeowners will be notified if their trees are among those that will be removed.
According to the DEC, oak wilt is caused by a fungus that grows in the water-conducting vessels of host trees, eventually producing gummy plugs that prevent water transport.