Common Tree Diseases And How To Prevent Them

A small yard tree purchased from a nursery will typically run around $150 each to around $200. So counting purchasing, planting, watering, fertilizing and pruning, most homeowners have a substantial investment in their back yard if they are starting from scratch.

Most trees have lovely sounding names such as Eastern White Pine, Japanese Red Maple or Little Gem Magnolia. However, not so delightful names such as Anthracnose, Apple Scab, Lethal yellow of palm, or Thousand canker disease belong to common tree diseases. Only a botanist could tell you exactly how many tree diseases there are, but if such a list of every possible disease was listed, its number would go way into the hundreds.

Tree diseases are caused by fungi, fungi-like organisms, bacteria, Nematodes, small, multicellular wormlike animals that attack roots, and parasitic plants such as mistletoe. Just like humans or animals, it seems there is always something ready to kill, or alternatively degrade the trees in your backyard, and if you aren’t careful, you may lose one or more of your fledgling trees to disease.

Common tree diseases
Here is a small list of the most common disease problems in trees:

#1. Anthracnose
Caused by a group of fungi, Anthracnose affects the leaves, twigs, flowers and fruit of thousands of trees every year. Generally found in the Eastern United States, the disease produces dark lesions that significantly stress the tree.

#2. Apple scab
Found on crabapple trees, apple scab forms lesions on the leaves of the crabapple trees, which can lead to complete defoliation.

#3. Cedar Rust
A fungal disease, cedar rust causes Juniper trees to plant cycles early. Spore development and spread via the wind get on Apple Trees producing bright orange spots that keep the leaves from operating naturally.

#4. Diplodia tip blight
Affecting pine trees, the disease starts at the bottom of the tree and works its way upwards. Left untreated, it can kill this year’s crop of pine needles.

#5. Lethal yellow of palm
Common in Texas and Florida, the Lethal yellow of palm is caused by a bacteria-like organism and is brought into the tree by grasshoppers. Once infected, palm trees usually die within three to five months, so it is quite serious.

#6. Oak Wilt.
A fungal disease that kills 20 different species of Oak, it’s transmitted to trees by infected beetles. Treatment works for some species, notably white oak, but there is no treatment for red oak varieties.

#7. Thousand canker disease
A slow-moving disease affecting Walnut trees, the disease is caused by twig beetles who cause small cankers in the branches of the tree. Eventually, the cankers begin to spread, and slowly it will kill the tree, although it may take several years to do so.

It is advised that when buying trees, you consult the nursery about available treatments for any type of disease your tree may likely encounter. For some there are no treatments, for others, there are common treatments available that you need to use annually.

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