4 Diseases Your Tree May Get

Detecting and treating various tree diseases can help prevent damage to vegetation by preserving and protecting species that are paramount to our ecosystem. Properly diagnosing these conditions requires becoming well-versed in the symptoms that go along with each individual ailment. With effective diagnostics, the impacted trees can receive treatment that could potentially save their lives, or at the very least, save those surrounding them from becoming impacted as well.

Oak Wilt

This particular condition is caused by a fungus called Ceratocystis fagacearum. The fungus impacts the transport tissue called xylem, which is responsible for dispersing water and nutrients throughout the tree. Any oak tree can develop oak wilt, and it is characterized by wilted leaves, brown discoloration, and fungal spores located on the bark. Since the disease is so fast-spreading, there are no current treatment methods aside from quarantining the affected trees to prevent future spreading.

Dothistroma Needle Blight of Pines

Pine trees such as Scotch, Austrian, and white pine can experience Dothistroma, and it is caused by something called Mycosphaerella pini. Once progressed, this disease can result in dead needles, weakening of the entire tree, and it can even kill Austrian pine trees altogether. Symptoms of Dothistroma include: yellow or brown spots, black fruiting, and dead needle tips. When treating this ailment, it is recommended to shear the affected areas with tools that are sterilized immediately after. Environmental experts also advise to avoid shearing healthy plantations after ones that are heavily affected.

Lethal Yellowing of Palm

Primarily found in South America, lethal yellowing can occur in over 36 species of palm trees. This disease is diagnosed after observing chronological progression of symptoms such as fruit dropping in a premature manner, death of the tree’s flowers, and discoloration in the form of yellow or beige areas. Treatment of lethal yellowing includes administering an antibiotic known as Terramycin.

Powdery Mildew

Many presume that powdery mildew is only found in plants, but it is actually highly common in almost every tree species. Signs of powdery mildew usually show up as patches of powdery growths that are white or grey in color. Almost all species are resistant to this condition, but in rare cases an infection may form that could benefit from antibiotic treatment. Once the disease has progressed, it is best to avoid the administration of nitrogen fertilizers.

Proper identification of these tree diseases help benefit the environment by addressing them before they advance into widespread infections. Just like humans, trees can fall victim to diseases that progress and spread quickly. If you suspect that a tree is affected by one of these disorders, contacting your local department of environmental protection can help in getting the tree the care that it needs.