Trees are living things, so that means that they can get “sick” just like humans and animals can. A disease or other tree problem might take a little while to show appear because of the overall size of the tree, and once you see a symptom, it could be too late to restore the tree.
A certified arborist from PA Tree Trimming can help you identify and treat common tree issues so that you have a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist prevent a tree from dying, but they are also able to help trees get healthier growth and bloom more flowers or fruit.
Have you ever noticed a tree on your lawn that has always seemed healthy but suddenly looks like something is wrong? In the next section, we’ll describe some of the most common tree issues and what these symptoms mean.
If you spot any of these things on any of the trees on your property, act fast to have the best chance of saving the tree and the ones around it.
Tree Diseases & Common Problems
These 7 things are the most common issues encountered by experienced arborists in Pennsylvania. The moment you think one of these things could be wrong with your tree, reach out to someone with the training and tools to help!
Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is actually a fungus that is very common in both plants and trees. The name comes from the brown and yellow spots this disease produces on the leaves.
Leaf rust is bad because it inhibits the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be tended to with fungicides and selective trimming of the diseased leaves. It may be necessary to cut off whole branches with leaf rust.
Witches’ Broom – This common tree disease creates a large grouping of twigs, dead leaves and branches that resemble a broom shape. It is caused by pests, unusually wet weather or fungus. The formation of a clump of leaves and twigs is the tree’s reaction to infection or harm.
Some cases of Witches’ Broom are fatal for the tree, others are only considered a growth malformation. An arborist can diagnose the problem.
Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on just about anything in wet conditions, but even when the wet conditions are over with, mildew can remain and thrive. Mildew usually appears as a powdery substance, typically white, and it often grows on the leaves of a tree first.
The trick to eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will treat the existing mildew and stop future mildew on the tree. You may also need to trim the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and any leaves that were affected by the mildew
Gall – Gall is a tree condition that appears when pests or rodents build small nests on the leaves or branches of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most types of galls are not harmful to the tree, but none of them are attractive.
Gall appears as as bumps on the tree, in varying sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some color in between.
It is not necessary to treat the tree if there are galls, but they can limit the growth of new trees. Treat galls by killing the pests. You should also clean out from under the tree when the leaves fall off, because this is where the insects survive during winter months.
Other Tree Problems
Poor Trimming – There’s a discipline to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you don’t know how to do it, you could harm the tree past the point of recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of an issue. Only a certified arborist should be trusted to prune trees in order to keep them healthy.
Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely impacted by drought. If you plant new trees, you will probably have to supplement how much water they get from rainfall. A tree that doesn’t get enough water can have its growth stunted. The first sign you are likely to see is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.
Too Much Sun – Do your research before planting trees in a full-sun area of your property. Most species of trees can handle it just fine, but too much sun can happen to any tree if the sun is harsh for a long period of time and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs even more water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.
Certified Arborist Services in Pennsylvania
A trained arborist from PA Tree Trimming will quickly diagnose what’s going on with your sick tree and lay out a plan to save it if at all possible.
Here are the things an arborist is qualified to do:
- Review trees from the ground and from the limbs of the tree if possible. Climbing into the canopy is typically necessary to understand exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
- Treat your tree through additives and fertilizers in the dirt or solutions sprayed on the leaves. The arborist will have knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments for it.
- Prune trees to eliminate dead or diseased branches and to encourage healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree can survive both the problem and the pruning.
- Remove the tree from your property if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case is that the tree is too far gone, and removing it is the best choice to protect your property and surrounding landscape.
Arborists can also inform you about the other trees that you have om your property and how to best care for them so you don’t return to the same situation in the future.
Some tree issues look similar to each other, requiring an expert eye to accurately diagnose and correct the issue. If your trees appear to be dry, disfigured or dying, call a professional arborist from PA Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.