Identifying Tree Diseases
Trees are a crucial part of our ecosystem. Without trees, there would be no plants, and we would have a very difficult time life. In fact, without living things in the soil, we would not have any way to feed ourselves or our children. It’s sad but true that without trees, there will be nothing to breath, to drink, or to use for shelter. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the major diseases that affect trees, as well as some tips to keep them healthy.
We know that every tree is different and has its own peculiarities. But we also need to remember that each type of tree is a prey to a particular disease. A popular disease known as tree blight is caused by a virus from a group of microorganisms called fungi. This disease attacks evergreen trees, particularly spruces and ficus, and thrives in wet, humid environments.
Leaf spot is a disease that usually appears on young leaves and can spread to other leaves and even to other parts of the plant. Its affected areas are usually covered with small brown spots, which gradually turn into a purplish yellow hue. The disease is highly infectious and affects all parts of the plant. The affected leaves drop off, while the needles also fall off. The infected needle, once infected, can also spread to other plants or into the soil.
Another common type of tree disease is needle blight, which is caused by a fungus known as Cantharis catus. Infected needles drop off and the infected bark can infect other plants and tree saplings. As soon as the fungi have spread through the tree, the entire tree will die.
Bark disease, which is sometimes referred to as black spots, affects trees mainly in the interior. It’s name is somewhat misleading because the disease does not appear on the bark. The affected trees often show a grayish brown color with small dark spots and may also develop silvery lesions. These lesions develop due to fungi that invade the plant through the bark. This disease attacks young trees only. The affected trees will display black spots, brown spots, silvery lesions, or the development of a yellowish hue at the base of the tree.
Rust and stem rust are two other types of tree diseases. Rust takes the form of iron deficiency anemia in trees, which is usually fatal. This disease is more common in conifers and pre-mature trees. The infected leaves turn yellow and fall off, while the needles wither and curl.
A third type of disease is leaf spot, which affects trees mainly at night. The affected leaves may appear brown, green, red, or even mixed colors. Infection occurs when fungi penetrate the leaf’s surface. As the fungi travel through the leaf, they secrete enzymes, which attack the leaf’s outer layers and eventually infect the leaves. Infected leaves may turn yellow, brown, black, white, or pale.
Tree diseases can be prevented by following a few simple tips. Regularly inspect your trees for growth, discolorations, or broken or missing limbs. Use gloves when pruning and trimming your trees. Keep tree limbs and branches away from the trunk of the tree it protects.
To control infection caused by fungi, you must first identify the fungi. Once you have identified the fungus, you should either fungicide the area or immediately treat the infected tree. Fungi that grow naturally in your environment (such as certain species of fungi that live on tree bark) are usually harmless. However, if the fungi invade a tree, it is better to resort to fungicides.
Aside from identifying the source of infection, you should also determine how to prevent tree diseases. The most common way to prevent a tree disease is by keeping the leaves clean. Remove the decaying or dead leaves from your tree regularly. When it comes to tree diseases, prevention is always better than cure. You should also take special care to check if there are any leaks or puddles under your tree. These areas may serve as a route for fungi to grow.
You may also avoid diseases if you make your tree’s soil and fertilizer rich. In addition to this, you should also trim your tree’s branches regularly to keep them short and less visible. If you are going to prune your tree, it is best to do it at least six to eight weeks later to minimize the damage caused by fungi. If the leaf spots are already infected with fungi, it would be best to remove them before they spread their diseases to other parts of the tree. If you are not sure which type of tree diseases your tree is suffering from, it would be better to consult an expert first before attempting to treat it yourself.