Pennsylvania tree health experts share signs of and solutions for tree disease.
Prevent Tree Death and Catch These Common Tree Diseases Early
Just as people and animals can have infections and parasites, trees can likewise get sick. Though trees exhibit their illnesses much differently than we do, they can be affected by viruses, bacterial infections, and fungal infections. These last are the most common and come in many forms, often causing browning of leaves out of fall season and shriveling flowers or fruit.
Just as human and animal diseases are contagious, so are tree diseases, therefore when you see early signs of tree disease, you may be saving not just that one tree, but the whole neighborhood arboreal network.
Tree Ailments Common to Pennsylvania
There are many names for infections from shoestring root rot to apple scab. Some of them are defined by their symptoms while others are defined by their causes. Here are just a few of the common tree diseases that can kill off both naturally grown and landscaping trees:
- Apple Scab
- Cedar Apple Rust
- Armillaria Root Disease
- Verticillium Wilt
- Fire Blight
- Powdery Mildew
What Causes These Diseases?
The major cause of these diseases is various forms of fungi, ranging from those that appear as powdery or fluffy spores on the fruit and leaves of a tree to fully-fledged mushrooms sprouting from the roots. The descriptive names featured above often describe some of the symptoms, such as the reddish brownish leaf lesions that give apple scab its name.
Which Trees Do They Infect?
While not all diseases affect every tree, every tree can be affected by disease. Some fungi tend to only attack certain trees like those that cause apple scab and cedar apple rust, which tend to almost exclusively attack apple and crabapple trees. Others like Armillaria can affect almost any vulnerable tree whether coniferous or deciduous.
When Are They More Likely to Happen?
Tree diseases tend to more easily take hold of and infect a tree during times of stress. There are many factors that contribute, but below are listed just a few of the reasons a disease can take hold.
- Age: A tree’s age can affect how susceptible it is to disease. Sometimes younger saplings and trees that are aging are more vulnerable to attack.
- Drought: A lack of water can weaken any living creature. This is also true of trees.
- Overcrowding: If trees are planted too close together, shade from older trees and competition for resources can make it difficult for younger trees to get the nutrients they need.
- Injury: This injury may be an accident such as a lightning strike or a human error of over-pruning. Again, this causes stress to the tree and makes it more difficult for it to nourish itself.
Indicators of Disease and the Next Steps
The first signs of disease usually show in the crown of the tree or on the new leaf growth. Irregular spots or a yellowish cast to the leaves may indicate that disease is taking hold. In order to do the best you can for your trees, follow these simple steps:
- Call the Professionals: First and foremost, if you are concerned about a tree, call a tree service company for a tree risk assessment.
- Tree Care: Once the tree has been assessed, steps can be taken and fungicides applied in order to preserve the tree and prevent spread.
- Tree Removal: Sometimes, it is too late for a tree, but removal by a professional tree removal service may be the only choice that can prevent the spread of the disease as well as damage to the property.
About Greater Pitt Tree Service
With over a quarter-century of experience under our belts, Greater Pitt Tree Service has the know-how to meet all your tree service needs. We are there when you need us with 24/7 emergency service. Call us today for any tree service in the greater Pittsburgh area.