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Tree Blog

The Lurking Dangers of Tree Diseases

It’s hard to put into words the feeling of disappointment or even heartbreak as you watch decades-old trees wither in a matter of months. Tree diseases are easy to overlook until they’ve taken hold in a serious way or started to spread across a property. That’s why vigilance and the ability to recognize common tree diseases in your area is effectively your first line of defense against these pathogens.

Blights and Bacterial Disease

Blights and other bacterial diseases are among the most common and contagious types of infections that can develop in trees. This makes them a high-priority concern when they appear in forested areas like parks and preserves. Fire blight is a common bacterial disease throughout the US Midwest states that can destroy many kinds of fruit trees in a matter of months. Fungal diseases, like Dutch elm disease, can be just as pervasive and devastating to forests.

The type, severity, and scope of visible symptoms can vary a lot depending on the disease and the individual case. General signs of bacterial infection in trees include:

  • Spreading or spotting discoloration
  • Curled or deformed foliage
  • Slow or uneven growth
  • Poor fruit and seed yield

The Root of the Problem

Even though root rot is less obvious and dramatic than blight diseases, it is actually just as serious and can be harder to detect. Root rot is often the result of a fungal infection, like in Phytophthora root rot, but this isn’t always the case. Initial infection may not have any obvious warning signs, but advanced root rot leads to a dramatic decline in health that concludes in the total death of the tree.

Since owners can’t readily examine the roots under their trees, they must rely on other external signs. This means they need to be aware of changes in the health of their trees enough that they can recognize unusual behavior or a lack of response to proper care. Proactive caretakers can conduct random soil tests around the base of their trees to check for organisms responsible for common infections.

Parasitic Infestation

While parasites are not technically a disease, they have a similar impact on a tree’s health as a fungus or bacteria. Any kind of local species of borer beetle can become a serious threat to tree health, especially for those that are already vulnerable due to stress or difficult environmental conditions. Other common threats in the Midwest include gypsy moths, tent caterpillars, and bagworms.

Be Tree Healthy This Fall

Developing an awareness of common diseases in your area and checking all the growth on your property throughout the year is a huge step towards being tree-healthy. For the average property owner, the next step is working with professionals to plan, prepare, and prevent future problems.

It takes time, skill, and patience to keep trees healthy, which is why we’re here to do it for you. Contact our team at Lafayette Huesca Tree Services today to ask questions, address concerns, or schedule emergency tree services in Lafayette, IN.

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