The importance of our trees cannot be overstated. They are the lungs of our planet and a huge investment for your yard. Not only do they provide shade and beauty but they can also increase your property value. If you keep up with proper tree and shrub management such as mulching, deep root fertilization, and pest control, then your trees will go on to live for generations. However, there are a number of tree diseases out there that can decimate your trees. Know the signs and symptoms so you can be prepared to take action before it’s too late.
Dutch Elm Disease is a plague among elm trees that has decimated the elm populations in the U.S. since the 1930s. The culprit that spreads the disease is the Elm Bark Beetle which infects trees when it burrows beneath the bark. The disease causes the tree to cut off its transport of water and essentially dehydrate itself.
The early signs of Dutch Elm Disease are the yellowing of leaves which slowly spreads throughout the tree and leads to defoliation. Symptoms may appear for one or two years before the tree is killed. It’s very important that you remove any sick trees and infected wood immediately before it spreads to others.
Treatments include preventive fungicide injections that help protect trees for two to three years but, even that may only delay the inevitable.
The fungi that cause anthracnose can infect a large variety of trees and shrubs, especially sycamores and flowering dogwood. In sycamores, the disease causes defoliation and twig blight. In dogwoods, symptoms are defoliation, branch dieback, and death. To combat anthracnose, apply foliar fungicides two weeks before buds open and continue throughout the season.
Black knot disease appears as a hard, bulbous growth on the branches of cherry and plum trees. As it gets bigger, the knot cuts off circulation to branches. You will notice several large branches defoliate as the disease spreads. Luckily this disease can be treated with a combination of pruning of infected branches and fungicide applications.
Needle Blight is caused by a fungal disease that can cause early defoliation, stunting, and even death in over 35 species of pine. The disease starts by killing the inner needles which slowly die and drop off. It can take years for a mature pine to succumb to the disease.
To control the spread of needle blight, prune off infected branches, rake up infected needles, and burn them before the fungus spreads to other pines.
Apple scab begins early in the season and affects the leaves of crabapple trees. Symptoms appear as brown lesions and cause early defoliation. The fungus spores spread to other branches and trees by water and wind. To thwart the spread of disease, use fungicide and mix in disease-resistant varieties of crabapple trees.
At Lawn Jox, we provide a wide range of lawn care services to help you achieve the yard of your dreams. Call today at 901-529-6569 and ask about our 7-Step tree and shrub program or leave us a message on our site.