Spring is Here – Watch Out For These Tree Infection Symptoms
You’ve made it through winter, but you’re not out of the woods just yet. Each season brings its own set of risks to trees, and spring is certainly no exception. Mostly fungus-related, spring diseases can be harmful to trees and irritating to deal with. This article will describe some of the most common tree diseases and how to treat them.
Shifting from Winter to Spring Tree Care
Depending on where you live, winter can be particularly brutal for your yard’s trees. It’s time to unwrap your trunks and separate branches that were bound together. It’s important to perform at least one post-winter clean-up session. Check for dead trees and fallen branches, as these are hazardous if they are not removed.
Common Causes of Tree Diseases in Spring
A ton of environmental factors make your trees particularly vulnerable to diseases in the springtime. One of these factors is warmer weather, which encourages certain organisms to appear. These include bacteria, viruses, and insects that carry or create diseases.
Most spring tree diseases, though, arrive thanks to fungus, which grows in the wetness associated with spring.
READ MORE: Common Signs of Illness in Trees
Specific Tree Diseases and How to Treat Them
There are hundreds of unique diseases and infections that can infect trees, and they vary in how much damage they can unleash. Some of the most common diseases that can appear in spring include:
Below, we’ve provided descriptions of each disease listed above along with solutions to help remedy the condition.
This fungal disease is commonly found on plants and trees of the deciduous and evergreen tree varieties during spring. It appears as yellow or brown spots on leaves, and spreads through watering and rainfall.
To treat anthracnose, prune dead wood and remove infected leaves. Then, continue regular maintenance.
This fungal disease can affect fruit trees and limit or even halt the production of fruit from a tree. You will notice twisted leaves and brown spots on both leaves and fruit.
To treat apple scab, remove infected leaves and fruit to stop the spread, and continue regular maintenance.
This fungal disease can affect fruit trees, usually ones that grow plums, apricots, and cherries. It appears as a dark cluster of fungi around branches and stems, and it can limit or even half the production of fruit from a tree.
To treat black knot, remove branches that are infected, and ensure that there are none on the ground, as those can still spread the infection. Otherwise, continue regular maintenance.
This fungus pathogen can cause your plant to wither or die. If infected, the trunk will become hard and develop a splotchy white fungus. Unfortunately, trees affected by brittle cinder rot quickly, and usually have to be removed.
These bacterial pathogens appear as lesions on your tree’s trunk, branches, or twigs. These are caused by changes in temperature, moisture, or food intake. Thus, the healthier the tree is, the more of a fighting chance it has against cankers.
Pruning is the recommended treatment for eliminating cankers. Prune at least a few inches below the canker.
Also known as cecidia, these fungal clusters appear the way a tumour would. They are caused by bacteria or insects that lay eggs in your tree. Fortunately, they don’t always indicate any real risk to the tree, and they can simply be removed.
Leaf Spot Disease
Have you noticed a series of small markings on the leaves of your trees or plants? They might be infected with leaf spot disease. In most cases, this won’t cause severe damage, but it can interrupt the photosynthesis process, challenging your tree’s health.
To treat leaf spot disease, remove infected leaves from the plant and from the ground, and perform regular maintenance.
This fungal infection appears as small white spores, usually on the edges of leaves. The visual effect can be pretty or displeasing.
To treat powdery mildew, remove infected leaves and prune. Then, resume proper maintenance.
READ MORE: Spotting Winter Damage to Trees
The Risks of Avoiding Proper Care
You may think that tree diseases aren’t a serious threat or that they don’t need to be taken care of. In reality, these infections can spread to other plants and trees. They can also kill your trees, turning them into a breeding ground for insects and putting them at risk for toppling over.
If you see any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, don’t hesitate. Try to catch tree diseases as quickly as possible so they don’t spread.
At Green Thumb, our experienced arborists can help answer any questions you may have about your trees, whether you think your trees have disease symptoms or you need help with transitioning into spring care. Reach out to us today!