What causes disease in trees?

Fungus starting to grow on tree leaves

How do you tell if a tree has a disease?

Trees can be a beautiful addition to a home, a business, they are in the parks we enjoy, and they provide us so many benefits.  From decorative sense to shade, they cleanse the air we breathe. What can you do to protect these assets from tree diseases? Is there tree disease control so that you can stop it before it happens?

Many times, tree diseases in Texas can be difficult to recognize. For the bare eye, the organisms are hard to see, however, as those organisms develop, the signs become clear. Any portion of a tree can see the development of tree diseases or an entire tree. There are common signs and symptoms of tree diseases such as blotches and spots on the leaves. Blisters, defoliation, needle cast, or scabs are indications of possible tree diseases. Other common signs of tree diseases are root rot and stem canker.  

Before you decide you treat a tree that you believe has been affected by any tree diseases, you need to identify the issue. Treating symptoms isn’t enough, knowing what caused it is needed too.  – know what is causing it, which is where seeking the advice of an expert arborist is helpful.

Here is a list of common symptoms that could be related to some tree diseases to keep a watch for: 

  • Crown Rot and Phytophthora Root: This is frequently the first suspect when the crown of the discolors, die, and the leaves drop off the tree out of season. The tree appears unhealthy. This is one of the tree diseases that can plague the roots of a tree for years before it kills it unless it reaches the basal stem or crown, it can die sooner.
  • Anthracnose: This refers to a group of tree disease fungus and has widespread symptoms of random dead areas or blotches on the leaves. If the fungus is severe, all the leaves may be blotched. There is often an infestation of cankers that will kill the smaller limbs.  Typically, this is one of the tree diseases that affect the leaves, but it can spread to the branches and twigs, death will soon follow which.
  • Oak wilt: As the name suggests, this is one of the tree diseases that affect all versions of oak trees with either insects or root graft infections. The insects are sap beetles and they will spread the disease, unlike other tree diseases, it causes leaves to drop after turning brown or green from the outside and moving inward. The bark will have streaking and limbs will die one-by-one. In between the leaf veins, discoloration will start, interveinal chlorosis. Within six months, the tree will usually die.
  • Sooty Mold: This develops on trees that live above our house sucking insect colonies. Fungi or mold develop on the tree and the sucking insects produce honeydew which sustains the fungi and mold. This is one of the tree diseases that is more annoying than fatal, but it can affect anything under the trees.
  • Fire Blight: This is one of the tree diseases that result from a bacterial infection of a tree and is identified by twig dieback, with the leaves and twigs looking burnt. This is one of the most harmful tree diseases that can cause damage to the entire tree.

How do you treat a diseased tree?

Typically, it is the spring and early summer when the tree diseases first appear. Noticing tree disease and treatment for that disease right away are the best way to assure you can save your tree. Spray a fungicide on the affected tree as soon as you have noticed the disease and apply again every ten days throughout growing season. We recommend spraying any nearby plants as well to prevent downy mildew from spreading.

Can you save a sick tree?

Possibly, if you catch it soon enough. First sign of telltale signs that you have a tree sick with any of the tree diseases, follow these four steps and you might get it back in good health again.

  1. Identify and amend the issue
  2. Prune thirty percent of the foliage
  3. Begin and follow a regular watering routine and there is proper drainage
  4. Fertilize

Can a tree come back to life?

No, it if is dead, it cannot be revitalized.  Attempting to nourish a dead tree to bring it back to life would be time consuming with no point to reach. However, before you determine a tree is dead, make sure it is and not dying or sick from one of the many tree diseases. If it is dying, you may save it. 

damaged leaves

Can tree diseases affect humans?

There are several fungal infections and tree diseases that can affect your trees. While there are some fungi that may affect humans and plants, it is rare. Then there are opportunistic fungi that will prey on an unhealthy plant, but typically not trees, unless a nearby tree is in poor health, same with humans before the pathogens could pass around. There are tree diseases around the world, while some are more prevalent in some regions of the country and the world, there are some tree diseases in Texas that are exclusive to Texas because of the type of trees here. The same is to be said of other states and trees native to them, they would have tree diseases exclusive to those states. Concerned about tree diseases in Fort Worth, TX? Call 817-882-6499 today.