Having a diseased tree in your yard can be an eyesore at best, and a massive liability at worst. It can be hard to tell at times when a tree has a disease, especially if it is an older tree, but no matter what, a sick tree needs to be taken care of or it may die. This is usually best left to a professional tree care specialist, as it can be easy for someone to accidentally use the wrong type of treatment which can end up killing a tree.
Common Types of Tree Diseases
Oak Root Fungus – This type of fungus is responsible for millions of tree deaths each year. While this disease is found mostly in slightly more humid climates, it still pops up around Utah. Oak Root Fungus attacks the root system of a tree, generally over a period of years, until the roots can no longer provide enough sustenance for the above-ground part of the tree. It can also make the tree unable to stand up to stronger gusts of wind, possibly leading to it being blown over by a storm that would not damage nearby healthy trees.
Fireblight – Unlike many types of tree disease, Fireblight is caused by a bacterial infection. This disease is most often found on apple and pear trees and causes new shoots to wither away quickly, inhibiting the tree’s ability to produce new fruit. A tree infected with Fireblight is especially vulnerable to other types of diseases since new branch growth cannot occur.
Insect Infestation – A large enough infestation of insects can kill a tree faster than a fungal or bacterial infection. Whiteflies and aphids are two of the most common types of insects that like to make their homes in and on trees in a destructive way, but ants and beetles can take advantage of an already weak tree and threaten its structural integrity. Some insects are almost invisible to the naked eye, but they can cause serious damage if left unchecked.
Four Signs of a Diseased Tree
Four of the most common signs of a diseased tree are:
- Peeling Bark – Anytime bark starts falling off of a tree by itself there is usually a fairly substantial issue at play. A tree’s bark is what keeps nutrients flowing from the ground all the way to the top and without it, a tree cannot survive. Small sections of bark falling off may be natural, but anything larger than your hand should be looked at by a professional.
- Fungal Growth – Dead wood is what fuels fungal growth, meaning anytime you see fungus growing on the roots or near the base of the tree, it almost always indicates disease. You may see fungus growing around the tree in conjunction with other signs, all of which point to a dying tree that needs to be taken care of immediately.
- Abundance of Dead Limbs – A few dead limbs are normal, especially for older trees, lots of dead limbs usually indicates a problem. Acting quickly can give the tree a better chance of survival since too many dead limbs will almost always mean the tree needs to come down.
- Yellowing Leaves Early in the Season – Yellow leaves can be a sign of a lack of nutrients, or an insect infestation, either of which needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. If only a couple of branches are seeing yellow or dying leaves, it may be something that can be dealt with by pruning, but any more than that and there is always something bigger going on, even if you cannot see it.
Treating a Diseased Tree
Our knowledgeable staff at Legacy Pest Control can take care of a diseased tree with our Arborjet tree injections, which injects pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers directly into the trunk. As long as the tree can be saved, and has not already died, we can give new life to a tree that looks as though it may be ready for the ax. Contact us here, or call 801-779-3131 today for a free estimate.