Trees can face different diseases and hazards depending on their geographic region. Ontario hosts its own set of problems that trees may face. This article will explain what some of these common region-specific problems are, how to identify them, and what to do.
Describing Ontario’s Climate
Ontario is a large province with a wide range of experiences to be had. You may grow your trees in the deep woods of the province’s rural townships, the suburbs of a mid-sized town, or in the rare green space in the province’s metropolitan areas.
Ontario’s climate is often described as ‘continental’ – this means, essentially, that people in Ontario can expect a wide variety of climates. Ontario faces hot, humid summers and freezing, snowy winters.
With such extreme temperatures and environmental shifts, trees experience a lot. Unfortunately, trees in Ontario are quite susceptible to many diseases. We’ve listed some of the most common tree diseases folks in Ontario come across below.
READ MORE: What You Should Know About Tree Felling
Common Tree Problems in Ontario
Emerald Ash Borer
This Asian beetle is tough to identify, but you might have an outbreak if your tree has cracked bark, tiny holes, or feels like it’s lost its density.
This common infestation attacks many different types of trees – notably including ash trees – by chowing down on the inner bark. As a result, trees don’t have a supported flow of water and nutrients and die within three years.
Dutch Elm Disease
If you’ve got elm trees in your yard, this should be a disease you look out for. Dutch Elm Disease is a fungal disease caused by fungi called ophiostoma ulmi. It can stop water from flowing correctly in your trees. As a result, your branches may turn yellow and shrivel up, and the tree may die.
Asian Long-Horn Beetle
Particularly common in Southwestern Ontario, this type of beetle causes fungal growth in trees, which can kill them fairly quickly. If you see a hole that’s at least 20mm in diameter in your tree, there’s a sign you might be dealing with this beetle or its larvae.
Beech Bark Disease
This disease has been popping up in Ontario, but fortunately, only few have had to deal with it. Beech trees sometimes face this disease – it is caused by fungi and invades and kills the tree’s bark. As a result, the tree’s scales will be discoloured, and many will disappear. Plus, you may see a slime-like substance coming out of the bark.
European Gypsy Moth
This type of moth is concerning, as its larva stage munches of leaves of fruit trees as well as oak, birch, elm, and willow trees. Moth bites can increase the risk of developing other diseases or attracting further pests.
Fortunately, this tree disease has no long-term effects to worry about, but it can cause visible damage to the leaves, making your trees look unappealing. Tar spot is caused by a fungus called Rhytisma acerinum, and has the appearance of dark spots.
These insects live off of tree sap and can take away so much that entire branches are killed. You’ll notice weak branches and sticky honeydew (or mould) when this pest is around.
These caterpillars are known for their ability to gather and reproduce quickly – they bunch up, often forming small ‘tents.’ For your trees’ health, these tents should be eliminated as quickly as possible, as caterpillars can multiply and destroy trees rapidly.
Does a Diseased Tree Need to Be Cut Down?
In most cases, you need to get rid of your diseased trees. By the time a disease or infestation is noticeable, the odds of being able to restore your tree are fairly low. Instead, the smartest thing to do is cut down the tree and remove its remaining parts. That way, you can eliminate the risk of allowing the disease to spread, therefore protecting your surrounding trees.
READ MORE: What to Do With Leftovers From Tree Removal
At Green Thumb, our team of arborists and tree experts can help you protect your trees from diseases and pests. If you need a tree removed to protect the health of your other trees, contact us right away. We’ll come up with a plan to quickly and efficiently eliminate your problematic trees.