Growing trees is an excellent way to incorporate some much-needed natural beauty into our lives. But it can be hard to tell when they start to get sick—let alone know exactly what we can do to help our evergreen friends. Take a moment to learn about how to diagnose your tree’s diseases, so you can help these brilliant, wooded beauties thrive for years to come.
Examine Leaves for Rust
Leaf rust is a strong indicator your trees might be suffering from a disease. It usually presents itself as a reddish, gold, or orange fungus on the surface of a leaf. While this symptom alone is rarely enough to cause total plant death, it often signals a much larger issue.
It can impair the tree’s ability to photosynthesize, which can eventually lead to starvation. So, if you notice these symptoms, remove the infected branches to try and offset the spread of the infection.
Investigate Portions of Trees for Fire Blight
Fire blight is a symptom of a more severe disease that often plagues trees. This rapid-spread bacterial infection gets its name from the burnt and withered appearance of the tree’s branches, leaves, and blossoms.
Areas of a sapling will suddenly turn brown or black, appearing as though they’re scorched by fire. This type of disease festers in warm, humid weather and is transmitted through things like rain, insects, and even contaminated pruning equipment. If you notice fire blight on your trees, prune the infected portions as soon as possible.
Look for White Powdery Mildew
Powdery white mildew is one of the most common signifiers of disease in your trees. It looks exactly as the name suggests. It’s a white, fluffy coating that rests on a leaf. This fungal infection often occurs in cloudy weather with high humidity, which enables the mildew to flourish.
You’ll notice that the leaves have irregular patches of a thin white film, which causes them to become distorted. This fungus won’t kill your tree, but it can affect its overall quality of life, so investing in some fungicides can help ensure it isn’t overtaken by the infection.
Inspect Branches for Gall Growths
Gall growths are another strong sign that your tree might be suffering from a disease. Galls are swollen overgrowths that sprout from branches. They’re almost akin to clusters of small mushrooms, but upon closer inspection, they look more similar to acorns.
These overgrowths are one of the most prominent signs of severe bacterial and fungal infection in trees. However, because this symptom is ambiguous, it can be challenging to diagnose the exact issue yourself. So, if you notice galls on your saplings, it’s best to call a certified arborist for tree care in Austin, Texas, to get a specific diagnosis and treatment plan.
Trees provide us with marvelous beauty, shade, and the things we need to thrive. So, the very least we can do for them is help them when they’re sick. Hopefully, our outline on how to diagnose your tree’s diseases helps you understand when your trees might be suffering and what you can do to help.