3 Most Common Tree Diseases and How to Fight Them

If you love plants, flowers, and the now popular succulents, chances are you’ve already encountered the heartbreak of your plants getting sick. Just like humans and animals, plants get infected by bacteria and fall ill. There are also bugs that damage different parts of your plants and eventually kill off an entire garden. While sunlight, water, shade, and even fertilizer helps plants and trees stay in shape, plant disease treatment experts warn of common illnesses that affect trees.

Let’s take a closer look at three of them.

Fire Blight

Dead and dry leaves way before summer and fall are a clear indicator of an illness called Fire Blight. As the name implies, the foliage and branches end up looking scorched or badly burnt, as though the tree was set on fire. Even flowers and leaves wilt and turn a dark shade of brown or black. The culprit of this tree illness is bacteria spread by bees, infected pruning tools, and even the rain. Experts say fire blight bacteria thrive in moist and warm weather, so areas with tropical climates are most likely to get affected.

The best way to address fire blight is to prune or trim the affected area. It is best to prune about 12 inches above or below any discolored portions. Be sure to sanitize pruning tools by cleaning after making each cut. Just use a solution of chlorine bleach and water.

Powdery Mildew

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Gardening enthusiasts are often baffled by the appearance of a white, powdery coating on top of leaf surfaces. This problem is called powdery mildew and it is often seen during humid but cloudy weather. Plants located in shady areas are the first to get infected with the gray or white film covering. This illness tends to distort or warp the leaves of plants and flowers. While they look white at first, the leaves turn to yellow or red and just fall off.

It is recommended to use pest-resistant trees and shrubs to prevent widespread powdery mildew infestation. Some types of trees and shrubs have hybrid cultivars that are resistant to the disease-causing fungus. Experts in tree disease treatment in Lehi suggest a spray of fungicide to ward off the mildew.

Canker

If you’re familiar with canker sores in humans, the canker in trees is similar to that. Canker causes bumps or blisters to appear on otherwise smooth surfaces in trees and plants. Sometimes, they are caused by wounds or bruises from a lawnmower, pruning shears, or a chainsaw. They appear in a dead area or a trunk or branch.

Canker may appear like scales or a mushroom-like cluster. If left untreated, canker can kill off young trees. For more mature or older trees, they can fight off canker but the infection can lead to deformed roots, branches, or other abnormalities.

Canker is best prevented rather than treated. Experts recommend using the right tools when caring for and maintaining trees and plants. If you don’t need a chainsaw, don’t use it. Also, take extra care when running a lawnmower through your front or backyard. Bruises and lesions make trees susceptible to fungi and bacterial infection. Give your trees and plants extra vitamins, ample water, and sunlight so they stay happy and healthy.

Nip It in The Bud

When it comes to addressing disease in trees, time is of the essence. As soon as you see any signs of disease, act quickly to minimize the damage. Find an expert that can carefully assess the disease and provide the necessary treatment before it’s too late.

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