Know These Notorious Tree Killers

By: albertaarb - May 1, 2015

You can’t exactly take your trees to the tree doctor for a booster shot. But you can protect them.

The first way you can keep them healthy is awareness. Know what threats exist in your area and how to spot them.

So let’s take a look at some of the local dangers our trees may face.

Common Tree Diseases or Invasive Tree Species in Alberta

According to The City of Calgary, the biggest threats our trees face are:

  • Dutch elm disease: a fungus spread in elm trees by the elm bark beetle.

  • Aphids - small pear shaped insects that feed on plant sap.

  • Ash leaf cone roller - caterpillar/moth like insect that rolls tree leaves.

  • Ash psyllid - small insects on tree leaves, resulting in curling leaves.

  • Black knot fungus - large knots (abnormal growths) of bark that encircle the branch.

  • Bronze lead disease (BLD) - effects certain poplar and aspen trees.

  • Elm scale - tiny crawling insects on leaves, twigs and branches.

  • Fire blight - a bacterial disease that browns and kills leaves, flowers and branches.

  • Satin moth - feeds on poplar tree leaves.

  • Yellow-headed spruce sawfly - caterpillar like insect on spruce needles.

Look for these or any abnormalities/ changes to your trees, and don’t be afraid to call a local tree expert to get more information.

How Do I Get a Tree Disease or Invasive Species?

Your trees can pick up a tree killer through no fault of your own. There are always a tonne of external factors and threats that can cause your trees to pick up a tree killer

According to, “Shipments of nursery stock may introduce the plant or a disease as do movements of fruits and vegetables which may transfer disease.”

“Frequently, transporting firewood may introduce insects or disease and even the movements of people and pets may inadvertently transfer seeds.”

Do I Have to Remove a Diseased Tree?

This is the gut reaction of everyone who suspects they have a tree killer in their yard.

But only a trained professional can fully ascertain whether or not a tree is:

a)Infected with a real threat

b)Needs to be removed

Some will spot what they feel is a tree killer and take it down themselves with a chainsaw.

First of all, they don’t have the training to safely fell a tree, so they could do accidental damage to themselves or their property. Second of all, they might actually spread the disease or infect to other trees in their yard or in the area.

Trust Experts to Diagnose or Remove a Tree

At Alberta Arborists, we have helped countless people get rid of trees safely and efficiently, and we can help you, too. Our highly experienced arborists are trained to deal with any tree removal in any location and to ensure no damage is done to your property.


Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate of your job, and save your money, time (and body) from taking care of the tree removal yourself.

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