Tree Diseases of the Western Interior Seaway
The environmental conditions of the area surrounding Yorba Linda, California have caused a resurgence of some very serious tree diseases. Tree diseases can range from slight irritations to complete plant death. The most common of these diseases is Redwood Fever, a fungus that can infect trees of any age or species. A redwood fever outbreak can be devastating for the community around the affected trees and can lead to interruptions in our daily lives.
In most cases fungi are not a major problem. They live in the environment and feed off natural decomposition occurring within trees and other plants. If the fungi are able to survive and reproduce, they will spread from one tree to another, increasing the number of infected trees and ultimately the whole forest. This situation has been happening in the Santa Barbara area for years and has only recently been getting more press due to the recent global recession.
One of the most severe forms of tree disease is Redwood Fever. The spores from this fungal infection can affect trees and other plants as far away as 50 miles away. When contaminated soil is transported around, the fungi can travel in the air, eventually affecting people who breathe the contaminated air. This is why people who work in the forest and who may come in contact with diseased plants should wear masks at all times. The fungus spreads very quickly and very rapidly, so it is critical to stay vigilant and safe.
Fortunately, tree diseases like Redwood Fever have a cure. The fungus that causes this disease is called Trichophyton rubrum. It is highly contagious and can easily be spread by insects and birds. The spores of the fungi can be spread through soil, and the fungi can also be transmitted from one affected tree to another, on birds and animals. Prevention is the best prevention against spreading Trichophyton rubrum. It is highly recommended that any affected trees are removed and that no other trees, plants, or trees in the area are infected.
The fungus that causes this tree disease needs to be identified and contacted promptly so that treatment can be administered to an infected tree. By isolating the infected tree, treatment can be started before the fungi spread to other nearby trees. A fungicide containing Hydroprene, such as Diclofenac, Dicamba, or Imidazole, should be applied when an infected tree is suspected.
The infected tree is sprayed with an anti-fungal agent. The foliage of the tree will start to die, and new growth will not occur until the treatment is complete. After the treatment, a new sapling should be planted in the area to replace the dead tree. If no new growth occurs, then the infected tree can grow out again, provided it is treated regularly.
A third tree disease that can be found in the forests of Yorba Linda, California, is known as black spot or “black thumb” fungus. This fungal infection causes the wood of the tree to decay, and hollow bark is often discolored. There will also be discolored splinters of wood. As the fungi invade the wood, new growth will be impaired, and the fungi will eventually kill the tree. There are fungicides available for this treatment, including Diclofenac, Certain Tree Diseases, and Fungi-Clear. Treatment must be continued for as long as needed to prevent the fungi from spreading to other trees or shrubs.
These tree diseases are caused by fungi that feed on the natural fibers of the tree. They weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to drying out and cracking. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to these types of problems. Regular inspection of the plant, especially during the summer, can help prevent a tree disease from becoming a huge problem.