How to Spot Common Tree Diseases, Told by Professional Tree Service

Caring for trees in your yard can be a fun and rewarding activity. But as anyone who as ever done it before will tell you it can also have it’s more difficult times – particularly if your trees are struck down by disease.

Being able to identify the disease and begin treating it early can be the difference between saving or losing your trees. Here are some common diseases to keep an eye out for.

Leaf Rust

This disease is easy to spot with just a cursory glance at your trees. It will present as patches of orange or gold on the leaf surface. This fungus is rarely strong enough to kill a tree outright, however it will weaken it by affecting the leaves ability to generate food energy for the tree via photosynthesis. Remove and destroy affected leaves and, if the problem persists, treat with a fungicide.

Fire Blight

This tree disease is so named as it will make your tree look as if it has survived a wildfire. Infected leaves, twigs and even branches quickly wilt and blacken, giving the appearance that the tree has been burnt. This disease is, however, bacterial in nature and thrives in warm and wet conditions. If spotted then carefully prune away any infected areas of the tree and destroy the cuttings. Also make sure to thoroughly disinfect all the tools you use, as this disease can also spread via contamination on your yard tools themselves. Dennis and Jason go a lot more in-depth on this at Wilmington Local Tree Service website as well as their blog posts. Feel free to contact either one of them personally regarding the Fire Blight.

Powdery Mildew

Again, like the fire blight described above this disease is named after the visual symptoms it promotes. In this case, Powdery Mildew disease causes, well, a coating of what looks like white powder to form on the leaf surface. This disease is a fungus and typically attacks plants that like to grow in more shaded areas. Fungicides will treat this disease effectively. If you have had plants that suffer this disease, when you buy new plants for your yard, select species, which are known to be more resilient to this disease.

Witches Broom

This fungus infects a tree where the bark on branches has been damaged – whether by an accident or by pruning. Once infected, new growth on the tree will begin to grow in odd looking clusters. These clusters of growth and twigs on a branch kind of look like an old fashioned broom sometimes – hence the name! infection will be local to the growths so cut them right back and treat with fungicide spray.

Leaf Spot

Another easy to spot infection. This tree disease, like leaf rust, attacks the leaf of the tree and leaves easy to spot signs. In this case it is bright red spots on the leaf surface which will also rot straight through the leaf itself, causing large holes to appear. This fungus likes cool and wet weather like that found in Spring. It also appreciates the abundance of new growth that Spring brings. These two factors can lead to rapid spread so you must treat quickly once you spot Leaf Spot. Remove infected laves and treat with a fungicide if necessary.

With just a little vigilance you can protect your trees against serious infection.

Time to cut down or trim the trees yourself, but the chainsaw isn’t working? Check out Jason’s chainsaw trouble checklist to help effectively troubleshoot your (most likely aged) chainsaw.

Is Hiring a Professional Tree Service Worth the Money?

There are many areas of your home and your yard where you can save significant amounts of money by taking care of the upkeep yourself. For example, if you’re reasonably capable with a paintbrush you can probably get by without the services of an interior designer.

A little time and effort invested in researching plants and your yard conditions should yield enough skill to keep your yard looking pretty and generally under control without having to splash out on a professional landscaper.

One area however where it can be harder to justify a do it yourself attitude is with your trees – particularly with any kind of work that could be outsourced to a licensed professional.

For one thing, unlike some other maintenance jobs found around your home, tree surgery skills are very hard to learn simply from reading guides and watching how to videos.

Those particular skills are in fact largely gained through experience more than anything else. If you have those skills therefore then you should be extremely happy (and proud!) and of course this article is not really for you.

If however you’re a complete novice to the world of tree surgery then it can be a frightening world to simply dive into. Plus, if you need to practice and gain skills, then are your own trees really the area where you want to practice these skills? Would you be happy sitting out in the garden looking at a butchered, hacked to pieces tree line?

Another thing that a professional tree company brings to the table is planning skills – and in the area of tree care, planning skills are essential! After speaking with a close friend of mine Tom, who owns and operates his own tree removal company prior to writing about this, I realized how important proper planning really is!

For one thing, they will be able to assess any difficulties in accessing the tree(s) that require work.

This would extend from knowing what equipment that might be required and how to get that equipment safely to the work site, to assessing potential dangers in the working area such as overhead power lines.

They will also be able to assess and carefully plan the path of any falling branches during a general trim and prune of your trees. If however the entire tree needs to come down, then they will be able to plan for this also – and of course here planning is extremely important!

A professional tree surgeon will be able to accurately predict where a tree will fall, helping in protecting your property during the removal process.

Removing a tree doesn’t end when it’s on the ground however; there is also the question of what to do with the tree stump left behind in the ground. Here too however, a professional tree surgeon will be able to assist as they have a wide range of techniques to remove a stump – which can often be a more troublesome task than actually felling the tree in the first place!

Finally, a tree service will bring with them all of the equipment needed to safely tackle the job, which includes various types of chainsaws, winches, harnesses and a wide array of safety equipment. For you to have all this equipment yourself would be extremely expensive not to mention taking up an awful lot of space within your home.

So while it may be tempting to consider taking on tree pruning or felling yourself, hopefully this article will have given you a few reasons as to why, in terms of money, time and above all personal safety, sometimes it’s better to leave some jobs to the professionals!

How to care for Bonsai trees

I get a ton of questions about Bonsai trees and how to care for them. I know the basics about all trees, but Bonsai are a totally different beast.

It’s almost like they demand care and attention.

If you’re looking for some advice on caring for your Bonsai tree, continue to the vid below brought to us by Expert Village. I’ve worked with them as a volunteer for a few months and definitely trust their advice.

See below.

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