The Most Common Tree Diseases and How to Spot Them

By: albertaarb - February 25, 2015

Spotting tree diseases early can save your tree. Unfortunately, most homeowners across the country don’t have a comprehensive knowledge about the various tree diseases. You might however, spend a lot of time in your garden this spring as you prepare for the warmth of summer to arrive. It’s the ideal time to review your spring trees and analyze them for potential disease-related issues. This can then lead to a consultation with a local arborist, who can advise you on the next steps to take.

Comprehensive understanding can help you protect your trees for years from potentially fatal diseases. With that in mind, let’s review how to spot the most common tree diseases.

Heart Rot Disease

Heart rot is a common disease that causes the wood at the center of the tree to decay over time. The disease is predominantly caused by fungi entering the tree through the bark and softening the tree's internal structure. It’s a problem that can cause particularly dangerous conditions around your home, as trees with heart rot disease are prone to branch breakages. Common signs that a tree has heart rot disease include the presence of mushrooms and other forms of fungi around the roots or along the trunk of the tree.

Canker Disease

Cankers on trees appear as isolated dead areas on the bark, stems, branches and twigs. They may appear as discolored areas or depressed spots on the trees. The causes of canker tree disease are numerous. While the disease may occur naturally, through fungus entering the tree between the bark and the wood, it may also be caused by machine interference. For example, cankers can appear on a tree that has been damaged by wood eaters, lawnmowers and lawn care chemicals. Over the short-term, the canker itself will have little impact on the health of the tree. However, it will make the tree more vulnerable to insects and other forms of bacteria and fungi.

Oak Wilt

As the name suggests, Oak wilt mainly attacks oak trees. It is caused by infected beetles burrowing through the tree roots. Oak wilt symptoms include rapid leaf discoloration, leaf wilting and premature defoliation. It’s important, therefore, to inspect oak tree leaves closely. A trusted arborist can help diagnose and resolve the disease, however, early detection is key.

Effective protection against tree disease begins with prompt diagnosis. Ensure the trees in your yard are at their peak health by examining them regularly.

We Can Help You Diagnose Tree Diseases

While Alberta Arborists prefers 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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