Trees are wonderful. They provide shade, wood, fruit, beautiful greenery, and are in general great for the environment and even property value. Regardless of the type of tree, however, they all require maintenance to remain healthy. The amount of maintenance depends on the tree, but general pruning and watching for insects is standard practice for most. Another part of tree maintenance is keeping an eye out for disease. Tree diseases can destroy the tree and spread to others on the property. While it can be difficult for a non-expert to spot, knowing the danger signs might save the tree.
Identifying Tree Diseases
Some common tree diseases have signs that an amateur can spot. Some of these are:
- Leaf Rust: Orange and reddish blots on leaves outside of the autumn
- Powdery Mildew: Leaves look like they have been dusted with white powder. Leaves can also be dried and curled.
- Fire Blight: tree bark has a charred black look as if it was on fire at some point
- Galls: Tree trunk looks like it has large tumors. These can be caused by a variety of fungi, insects, or bacteria.
- Witch’s Broom: A cluster of small branches and twigs growing from a single spot on a limb. It looks almost like little nests.
Any of these signs should signal a call to a tree expert is needed to diagnose the exact problem and treat it.
Tree Damaging Insects
Disease isn’t the only danger when it comes to trees. Insects are another concern. Fortunately, they are easily noticed and treated. A few of the more common problem insects are:
- Emerald Ash Borers: infamous for their infestations, require the removal of trees from entire neighborhoods due to their ability to bring down trees regardless of age.
- Japanese Beetles: These brown and green beetles can destroy a tree if given a chance. The attack by eating the leaves leaving only the skeleton (veins). They attack hundreds of species of plants, so control is a must.
- Bagworms: These caterpillars can be spotted by the pinecone-looking nests they build that hang from tree branches. The larvae feed on the tree’s leaves. Voracious and prolific, they can eat a tree clean of leaves if left alone.
- Tent Caterpillars: Another caterpillar that can defoliate an entire tree. Although most trees will recover from an infestation, the silken nests they build can be unsightly.
Identifying insects can be easier than a disease, but in either case, if one sees unusual growths or insects on a tree, contacting a tree service is a good idea. A professional consultation will ensure the potential issue is correctly identified as an infestation or disease and treated hopefully, if it’s not too late, saving the tree. The sooner these issues are found and treated; the more likely the tree can be saved. It’ll also ensure the problem doesn’t spread to other trees on the property or throughout the neighborhood.