How to Diagnose and Treat Tree Fungus and Disease

tree disease

Did you know that just like humans, trees are susceptible to diseases? These diseases are commonly caused by fungi and other pathogens. They can not only make the trees in your yard look less than beautiful but also eventually kill them entirely. That’s why it’s important to know how to spot common tree diseases and treat them effectively.

What are the Most Common Tree Fungus Diseases? 

There are (unfortunately) a lot of different tree diseases out there, and they can affect different parts of the trees. One of the most noticeable blights is tree fungus, which may present itself on the leaves of the trees. Here are some of the most common tree fungus issues that you might notice in your yard. 

Dutch Elm Disease: This type of tree fungus attacks the vascular system of trees, which means it causes significant foliage issues. The vascular system is responsible for circulating water and nutrients to the entire tree, so when it’s compromised, you’ll see the leaves curling, dropping, wilting, and turning an unsightly yellow color. Treatment is hard and there aren’t many options – you may have to remove the tree itself. 

Powdery Mildew: This type of tree fungus looks exactly like its name – it’s a fungus that leaves a powdery dust all over the leaves of the tree so the spores can attack the leaves directly. Powdery Mildew won’t kill a tree, but it’s an ugly sight to have in your yard until the leaves drop off. Once the leaves drop, the mildew is gone, and to prevent it from popping up again, make sure your plants have plenty of air circulation. 

Related: Choosing a Tree Care Company: What to Look for in a Reputable Service

Oak Wilt: Oak Wilt is a more serious tree fungus – it can be fatal to oak trees. The fungus is spread by sap beetles and causes wilting, browning, and leaf drop. If one tree is infected, it can easily infect others (the tree fungus can spread through the root systems), and you’ll have to remove the infected trees immediately to prevent spreading of this disease as there is no treatment. 

Verticillium Wilt: This tree fungus attacks all types of trees and can be fatal. It’s a soil-borne fungus and it causes yellowing of leaves, dry leaves, and curling. The worst part? No fungicide can kill this type of tree fungus, so you’ll have to remove the tree entirely before it spreads the disease to other trees around it. 

Sooty Mold: This tree fungus is another one that looks just like its name – it looks like black film on the leaves. Scale insects spread this fungus, and it harms trees by depriving them of necessary sunlight. It’s easy to treat – just coat the leaves in neem oil. 

Shot Hole Fungus: This tree fungus leaves physical holes in the leaves of your trees and is sometimes confused with insect damage. The way to pinpoint it is to look for telltale reddish-brown spots that appear on the leaves before the holes appear. Eventually, the leaves will yellow and drop. Shot Hole Fungus is extremely stressful to trees, leaving them susceptible to other types of tree fungus. Luckily, fungicide works on this type of tree rot. 

Related: Tree Removal vs Tree Trimming: When to Choose Which Option

What is Tree Rot? 

However, not all tree fungus attacks the leaves – it can sometimes attack the bark, branches, and trunk of the tree as well. Tree rot is a serious disease; it can rapidly spread throughout the tree in a short period of time. Tree rot weakens the wood strength, kills tissues in the wood, destroys cells, and even annihilates the core of the tree. This can lead to weakened and dead branches and eventually, tree death. Tree rot is most common in older trees, but can affect young trees as well. Here are some tips on how to prevent it: 

  • Protect trees from damage when you can 
  • Be sure to treat tree fungus, insect infestations, and other tree diseases to reduce stress in your tree 
  • Prune young trees to encourage sound structures 
  • Try not to remove large limbs from old trees, as it leaves a large wound that’s susceptible to disease 

Tips to Promote Tree Health 

Remember, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Here are some tips on keeping the trees in your yard healthy. The less stressed they are, the less susceptible they are to disease! 

  • Leave plenty of room in between trees to encourage air circulation, growth, and root health 
  • Be sure to water your trees appropriately – drought stresses trees out and encourages disease 
  • Monitor your trees’ health and treat signs of tree fungus or tree rot immediately 
  • Prune and trim trees as needed to encourage healthy growth 

Let Hometown Tree Help You Keep Your Trees Healthy 

Don’t let tree rot, fungus, or disease take over your trees. Reach out to Hometown Tree today, and let us help you preserve their health and beauty. Our experienced team is here to provide expert care and solutions tailored to your tree’s specific needs. Contact us now to schedule a consultation and give your trees the attention they deserve. Your green companions will thank you!