How Spring Insects and Diseases Can Destroy Your Property

By: albertaarb - February 11, 2015

That seemingly insignificant insect hiding in your favorite tree can have a lasting impact on the tree’s health. Insects known as wood borers can penetrate deep below the bark, causing lasting damage and even death of the tree. Lets look at how common garden insects and tree disease can impact your trees and the surrounding area.

The Pine Sawyer Beetle

Emerging at the beginning of spring, the pine sawyer beetle has been known to cause tree deaths. After they emerge, they chew through tender shoots and needles in diseased pine trees. They can also be quickly transferred to healthy trees in the same property in a short amount of time.

Flathead Apple Tree Borer

The flathead apple tree borer feed on a wide range of trees and generally prefer maple, apple and poplar trees. The flathead apple tree borer larvae tunnels beneath the bark, and into the cambium of the tree. This eventually leads to the tree’s death over time.

Dutch Elm Disease

Since Dutch Elm Disease was first introduced in North America in 1930, the disease has destroyed millions of trees. Signs of the disease include;

  • Some branches will have smaller leaves than the rest or no leaves at all

  • Some leaves begin to turn green, they wilt or droop


This is a clear indication that Dutch elm disease is taking hold within the tree. You should contact a local arborist as soon as you notice signs of the disease.

Fire Blight

Fire blight is considered an exceptionally serious and sometimes lethal bacterial disease that can impact trees and rose family shrubs. Over time, the bacteria can kill flowers, twigs and branches. The disease gets its name from the red-scorched leaves it causes on impacted trees. You may also see a clear amber liquid coming from diseased twigs. By working with your local arborist, you can identify this common disease and work to diagnose it.

Do You Have Infected Trees in Your Backyard?

If you have seen signs of any of the diseases mentioned above, you should contact an arborist as soon as possible. Although we at Alberta Arborists prefer not to use pesticides for the treatment of diseases or insect infestations, we can professinally diagnosis your trees pest and disease problems and then recommend the appropriate course of action required. If the use of pesticides are still needed, we can refer you to a local licensed company that can provide you with this service.

Feel free to contact us if you have more questions.

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