When you plant a tree in your Missouri yard, you probably aren’t thinking about fighting off diseases. However, there are a few diseases that you really want to be careful about when you choose your tree. These are diseases that can render your tree to firewood in no time at all, destroying your investment and putting your home, family, and even other trees into danger.
In order to successfully understand whether or not your trees are in danger, you should check your trees regularly to figure out any problems or issues as soon as possible. To do this, look at your trees every once in a while to know what “normal” looks like. It is also a good idea to know the warning signs for some of the most common tree diseases:
5. Leaf Spots
- Not all leaf spots are bad
- Spots can appear on any part of the tree
- Pay attention if the number of spots multiplies quickly
The most common disease you’ll find in Missouri is leaf spots, but it isn’t the worst. Instead, it is a fungal infection that won’t damage your tree too much, but it will take away the aesthetic value. Your tree will still function properly and be able to get the nutrients that it needs. As long as enough of the leaf’s surface is visible to carry out photosynthesis, the tree is fine.
However, if you start to see more and more spots or your tree starts to lose leaves, then you might have a problem, according to the University of Minnesota.
They go on to suggest that if you had moderate leaf loss two years in a row or you are losing the leaves earlier in the season, your tree is now more susceptible to pests and other diseases because it is weakening.
4. Root Rot
- Yellow curling leaves common on the tree
- Mushrooms growing along the base of the tree
- Deterioration occurs on the trunk or root systems
Another tricky disease that you might want to check on is root rot. Unfortunately, many Missouri tree owners don’t spot this problem until it is too late to save the tree. Be careful when mowing your lawn because wounding the tree is one of the ways that the disease gets into the root system. You also want to keep your trees healthy, as healthy trees are less likely to get this problem.
If you believe that your tree has root rot, call a professional immediately. This disease can and will spread to other trees and plants in your yard if untreated. Even worse, the disease stays in the root systems and stumps unless they are removed as well.
The Missouri Botanical Garden reveals that while all trees can get this disease, it is most commonly found in smaller ornamental trees because of the constant pruning and cutting.
3. Sudden Oak Death
- Portions of the tree dying off at the same time
- Leaves dying from the tips down
- Tree looks dry, especially the bark
One of the most serious tree diseases in Missouri, Sudden Oak Death is enough to put fear into the hearts of tree owners and arborists. This is a disease that has killed millions upon millions of trees in the United States. It has hit California particularly hard, but has moved to Missouri and is just as strong.
Sudden Oak Death doesn’t only hit oak trees, it is the main killer of over 100 different types of plants, vines, shrubs, and trees.
It is so serious that the USDA Forest Pest Service has gotten involved. This disease is contagious, often impacting your entire yard. Unfortunately, there are few ways to prevent the disease from having an outbreak because it is seemingly able to get into any tree.
If you believe that this disease is present in your yard, you need to contact a professional as soon as possible. This is not something to overlook.
2. Bacterial Leaf Scorch
- Tree appears to be thinning near the crown
- Large sections of the tree die at one time
- Leaves lose their color or vibrancy
One of the diseases that you have to be aware of if you have trees in Missouri is Bacterial Leaf Scorch, which is a disease spread by animals and insects that walk on your tree.
You might be able to spot the insects colonizing on your trees or you might miss them, it just depends on the tree and how bad the disease is. Note that it is extremely difficult to remove the problem once started.
The American Phytopathological Society warns that disease attacks the nutrient carrying system in your tree, which is why that it kills the tree. Initially, the disease moves slowly and cautiously, but as it feeds on your tree and gets stronger, the process picks up as well. If you catch the disease early enough, it is simple enough to eliminate.
1. Dutch Elm Disease
- Dutch beetle infestation
- Bark turns a white or grayish color
- Leaves turn yellow
One of the most dangerous diseases for Missouri is Dutch Elm Disease, which are caused by the Dutch Beetle. This is a newer disease for the area. The Dutch Beetle infests your trees, eating the bark to sustain themselves. The tree starts to plug the holes, but that leads to a blockage in the pathway that nutrients and water travel. The tree essentially kills itself to kill the disease.
The USDA Forest Service hastens to warn anyone who even thinks that they have this disease that you need to get it looked at immediately. The disease can stay dormant in your tree for years, which means that other trees in your home could have it too and you don’t know it.
Trees are living things and it isn’t uncommon for them to get diseases. Even if you do everything right, nature sometimes steps in and takes over from you. At Columbia Tree Work, we aim to keep your trees alive through disease prevention, quick treatment, and smart solutions. Our trained team of professionals can help to nurse your tree back to health without using harsh chemicals or procedures that will harm the rest of your yard. We aim to be as green as possible while still eliminating the problem.
If you spotted any of the above signs on your trees, or you just want peace of mind that everything is how it should be, give us a call at (573) 881-2144 at your earliest convenience.