How to Identify and Treat Common Tree Diseases
Identifying tree disease can be a tricky task. The symptoms can range from unusual fruit color to abnormal leaf growth. Tree diseases can also be easily confused with other conditions, such as environmental stress or plant injury. However, if you know what to look for and when it is time to act, you will be able to identify and treat common tree diseases before they become more significant problems that could endanger your entire landscape.
Southern blight is a common disease that affects trees and shrubs and can be attributed to root rot, fungi, and bacteria. Symptoms include wilting and yellowing of leaves, and treatment includes pruning infected branches and removing infected plants. If your plants do not show signs of recovery after two weeks, it is best to replace them.
Phytophthora Root Rot
Phytophthora root rot is a fungus that infects the roots of plants, trees, and shrubs. It can cause the plant to wilt, die and fall over. The disease is most common in Florida, where it affects many types of trees, including:
- live oaks
- bamboo palm
- sycamore maple
The fungus responsible for this disease is spread through soil contaminated with infected roots or leaves from an infected tree or shrub; however, it does not spread through air movement like other conditions. The best way to prevent phytophthora root rot from affecting your plants is by planting them in well-drained soils that have been amended with organic matter such as compost before planting time, as these measures will help improve drainage throughout their root systems which reduces their susceptibility to fungal infections like Phytophthora Root Rot.
Fungal Leaf Spot
Fungal leaf spot is a common disease that affects oak trees. It causes small brown or black dots on leaves, which grow and spread to other leaves as they age. The spots are usually circular but can also be irregular-shaped. Most of the time, you’ll see them on the underside of leaves, but if you look closely at an infected tree during rainy weather, you may also find some of these spots on top!
Stem cankers are a type of disease that causes discoloration, decay, and death in the woody stems of trees. These diseases are typically caused by two types of fungi: Phytophthora (a water mold) or Erwinia (a bacteria).
Stem canker symptoms include recessed areas on the bark that a reddish-brown border may surround; these sunken areas eventually become open pits filled with blackened dead tissue. Infected branches may wilt, die back and fall off the tree as they become more heavily infected.
Scales, Aphids, and Other Exotic Pests
Scales are a group of small insects that feed on plant juices. They can be hard to see, but they can cause extensive damage to trees by sucking the sap out of them. Some types of scales are covered with a white, waxy substance called “scale wax.” This makes them look like little bumps or spots on your tree’s branches and twigs.
Some common species include:
- soft scale- The adult female soft scale is about 1/8 inch long and oval-shaped; she lays eggs under her body which hatch into crawlers that look like tiny spiders; these crawlers move around until they find a place where they will settle down for good; once settled in an area on bark or leaves, they begin feeding by sucking sap from the host plant.
Create a Plan with an ISA-Certified Arborist
Let’s face it: Tree diseases can be tricky to manage. When you have a tree with an infection, you have to choose the correct treatment method, and that can mean hours of research online and on the phone with experts who know as much or less than you do. If you’re not up for the challenge, you might be paying someone else to solve your problem.
That’s why starting with a plan is essential, and working with an ISA-Certified Arborist will help you make sure your plan is solid. Certified arborists have a strong understanding of the science behind tree disease, so they can help you make sense of all the options available to you. They know how big your budget is and whether or not your local municipality will cover some or all of the costs associated with treatment. And they’ll also know what kind of space you’re working with because even if most treatments are pretty simple in concept, some are just not feasible for certain trees in specific locations.
Tree Disease Can Be Treated and Prevented
Tree diseases are treatable. With the proper care, your trees can be healthy and strong for decades.
We hope you have found this article helpful in learning about common tree diseases and how to treat them. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below! And don’t forget to contact our experts if you’re dealing with these common tree diseases!