Tree Disease Treatment

There’s nothing worse than watching a healthy tree gradually succumb to disease, only to become a safety hazard.

Thankfully, properly timed treatment can prevent the production, growth, and spread of the spores that cause tree diseases. Tree disease protection begins with a comprehensive inspection of your landscape by one of our ISA certified arborists.

During this inspection, your arborist will determine the overall health of the landscape and recommend disease or other treatments that can improve your tree’s condition while preserving the vitality of your property.

Custom Solutions

The treatment of tree disease is only effective when targeted by type of tree, specific disease, site conditions, and desired outcome.

Think of our certified arborists as tree doctors. They diagnose the tree disease, and then decide on a course of treatment. All of our programs are custom-designed, so that we can maximize your property’s health and beauty.

Common Diseases

Most tree diseases are caused by fungi, which thrive during the moist, warm weather common at the start of the growing season.

While this isn’t a complete list, here are some diseases that we see most often:

Root Rot

Root rot is generally caused by damp conditions and poorly drained soil. Over time, this leads to weak, oxygen-starved roots that are more susceptible to fungal infection and decay.  Almost all species of trees are vulnerable to root rot.

Diagnosis can be tricky, as many of the symptoms are similar to insect infestation. They include:

  • Slower than usual growth
  • Leaves that wilt, turn yellow, or fall off
  • Thinning canopy
  • Dieback and decline

There are as many varieties of root rot as there are fungi that cause them. Common varieties include phytophthora root rot, armillaria root rot, and thielaviopsis root rot.

Fruit Tree Diseases

There are many diseases affecting fruit trees. Although they vary by host and life cycle, the treatments are usually very similar. Blights, scabs, rots, leaf spots and rusts all occur on species of apple, pear, cherry, peach, nectarine and plum. These fruit tree diseases can affect leaves, stems and, of course, fruit.

Our fruit tree treatments follow a protocol developed by several leading universities, utilizing varying products and the minimum number of treatments required to facilitate a productive harvest.

Cankers

Cankers, or stem diseases, occur when a tree has an open wound or cut that becomes infected by a fungal or bacterial pathogen. Common varieties include botryosphaeria canker, sieridium canker, volutella canker, and hypoxylon canker.

The result is a discolored lesion that may include splitting bark, oozing sap, or a strong smell. As the pathogen invades further into the tissue, it can cause:

  • Small, sparse, or yellowed leaves
  • Wilting
  • Dieback

Cankers are most often seen on stressed trees and, if left untreated, may damage a tree further. An arborist will be able to diagnose and treat the canker without risk of spreading it.

Needle Cast Diseases

Needle cast diseases result in severe and lasting damage to many varieties of evergreen trees. Caused by several species of fungi, these diseases target Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens, white fir (Abies concolor), several species of pine (Pinus spp.), hemlock (Tsuga), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and cedar (Cedrus).

Wet spring seasons with mild temperatures encourage the growth and spread of needle cast diseases. Symptoms may first appear on lower, interior branches, where needles will look purple to yellow before browning and dying.

Needle cast symptoms will gradually progress from the base of the tree towards the crown and from the interior spread to outer stems. Younger, smaller trees are at higher risk of mortality from these diseases.

Proper watering, nutrition, and pruning can help prevent infection. However, once infected needle cast may be managed through treatments including removal of dead or dying limbs and/or appropriate application of technical materials.

Vascular and Wilt Diseases

These tree diseases are caused by fungi or bacteria that infect the vascular tissues of trees, or the vessels that conduct water and food throughout the plant. As it spreads, it interferes with the ability of the plant to use nutrients, resulting in:

  • wilting leaves
  • leaf drop and defoliation
  • limb dieback
  • tree death

Dutch elm disease, verticillium wilt, oak wilt, and bacterial leaf scorch are all common examples of vascular or wilt diseases.

Diplodia Tip Blight

Diplodia tip blight, is a fungal tree disease most commonly affecting Austrian pines (Pinus nigra), Scotch pine (P. sylvestris), ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) and mugo pine (P. mugo). This tree disease will occur on well-established plantings and those already under stress.

Symptoms include stunting and browning of current year’s growth, which after several consecutive years will stunt the tree’s entire growth. Initially identified on lower branches, the blight will make its way progressively towards the top of the crown. Proper care and maintenance can help prevent infection.

Once afflicted, disease treatments can include removal of dead or dying limbs and/or appropriate application of technical materials.

Anthracnose Diseases

Anthracnose is a common tree disease that results in extensive defoliation, shoot dieback, and twig death of your trees. It can infect a wide range of tree species, and other strains include sycamore anthracnose and dogwood anthracnose.

Anthracnose is a fungal infection, and generally occurs during extended periods of cool and wet weather in the spring. Repeated infections weaken the tree and may lead to decline and limb dieback.

SavATree has programs and treatments to prevent and treat these and other common tree diseases. Get in touch for a complimentary consultation with one of our certified arborists. 

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