7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living things, so that means that they can become “sick” just like people and animals can. A disease or other tree issue may take a while to show appear because of the overall size of the tree, and once symptoms become clear, it could be too late to revive the tree.

A professional arborist from ND Tree Trimming can help you identify and treat tree problems so that you have a much better chance of keeping the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an experienced arborist prevent a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and bloom more flowers or fruit.

Have you ever noticed a tree on your lawn that has always seemed OK but all of the sudden looks like something is wrong? In the next paragraphs, we’ll describe some of the most common tree problems and diseases and what these symptoms mean.

If you see any of these things, act fast to have the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most frequent problems addressed by experienced arborists in North Dakota. The moment you think one of these things might be wrong with your tree, contact someone with the training and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is actually a fungus that is common in both plants and trees. The name originates from the yellow and brown spots this disease creates on the leaves.

Leaf rust is bad because it inhibits the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be treated with fungicides and selective tree pruning of the affected leaves. It may be necessary to cut off entire limbs with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This common tree disease results in a large grouping of twigs, dead leaves and branches that form a a broom shape. It is caused by pests, unusually wet weather or fungus. The construction of a clump of twigs and leaves is the tree’s reaction to infection or danger.

Some instances of Witches’ Broom are deadly for the tree, others are just considered a growth malformation. An arborist can diagnose the issue.

Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on just about anything in moist conditions, but even after the wet conditions are over with, mildew can remain and thrive. It usually appears as a powdery substance, typically white, and it usually grows on the leaves of a tree first.

The the best method for treating mildew is to apply a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will remove the existing mildew and help to prevent future mildew growth on the tree. You might also need to trim the tree to remove branches, fruit, flowers and leaves that were affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of tree condition that occurs when insects build small nests on the leaves or twigs of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most types of galls are not dangerous for the tree, but none of them are attractive.

Gall appears as as bumps on the tree, in a range of sizes. They can be white, brown, gray or some color in between.

You do not have to treat the tree for galls, but they can inhibit the growth of young trees. Treat galls by killing the insects. You should also clean out from under the tree after the leaves fall off, because this is where the pests survive during winter.

Other Tree Problems

Poor Pruning – There’s an art to tree pruning, as well as many types, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could damage the tree past the point of recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of a problem. Only a certified arborist should be trusted to prune trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – New trees can be severely affected by drought. If you plant new trees, you will probably have to supplement the amount of water they get from rainfall. A tree that is not getting enough water can have its growth stunted. The first symptom you are likely to noticed is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do some initial research before planting trees in a sunny area of your property. Most types of trees can handle it without issue, but too much sun can happen to any tree if the sun is too hot for a long period and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting too much sun needs even more water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in North Dakota

A certified arborist from ND Tree Trimming will quickly diagnose what’s happening with your sick tree and formulate a plan to rescue it.

Here is what an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Evaluate trees from below and from the branches of the tree if possible. Getting into the canopy is often necessary to identify exactly what is creating the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with additives and fertilizers in the dirt or solutions applied to the leaves. This person will have knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the best treatments.
  • Trim trees to get rid of dead or diseased branches and to encourage healthy growth. Even if heavy pruning is needed, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree can survive both the problem and the pruning process.
  • Remove the tree from your lawn if there is no chance to save it. The worst case is that the tree is too far gone, and cutting it down is the best choice to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

Arborists can also educate you about the other trees that you have om your property and how to best maintain them so you don’t return to the same situation again.

Some tree issues look similar to each other, requiring a professional eye to accurately identify and correct the problem. If your trees appear to be dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a professional arborist from ND Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.