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.

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