7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living things, so it stands to reason that they can become “sick” like humans and animals can. A disease or other tree problem might take a while to show appear due to the sheer size of the tree, and once you notice a symptom, it could be too late to save the tree.

A certified arborist from OK Tree Trimming can help you diagnose and treat common tree problems so that you have a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist help to stop a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and more flowers or fruit.

Have you noticed a tree on your lawn that has always seemed healthy but suddenly looks like something is wrong? In the next section, we’ll describe some of the most typical tree problems and what these symptoms mean for a tree.

If you see any of these things on any of the trees on your property, act fast for the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most common issues addressed by experienced arborists in Oklahoma. The moment you think one of these things is wrong with your tree, contact someone with the training and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

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

Leaf rust is bad because it prevents the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be tended to with fungicides and selective tree trimming of the diseased leaves. It may be necessary to cut off whole branches with leaf rust.

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

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are deadly for the tree, others are simply considered a growth malformation. A tree care professional can tell you for sure.

Mildew – Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on almost anything in moist conditions, but even after the wet conditions are over with, mildew can persist and thrive. Mildew appears as a powdery texture, usually white, and it often grows on the leaves of a tree first.

The trick to eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will eliminate the existing mildew and help to stop future mildew growth on the tree. You may also need to prune the tree to remove branches, fruit, flowers and any leaves that were affected by the mildew

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

Gall appears as as bumps on the tree, in varying sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some color in between.

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

Other Tree Problems

Improper Pruning – There’s a discipline to tree pruning, as well as many types, and if you don’t know what to do, you could harm the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) can be just as big of a problem. Only an experienced arborist should be trusted to trim trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely affected by drought. If you want to plant new trees on your property, 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 your initial planning before planting trees in a sunny area. Most types of trees can handle it without issue, but too much sun can happen to any tree if the sun is harsh for an extended period of time and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs extra water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Oklahoma

An experienced arborist from OK Tree Trimming will be able to quickly identify what’s happening with your sick tree and lay out a plan to rescue it if at all possible.

Here are the things an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Inspect trees from the ground and from the limbs of the tree if necessary. Getting into the canopy is typically necessary to see exactly what is creating the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree through fertilizers and additives in the dirt or solutions sprayed on the leaves. This person will have knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Prune trees to eliminate dead or damaged branches and to encourage healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree survives both the issue and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your yard if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is dying, and removing it is the only way to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

They can also inform you about the trees that you have and how to best maintain them so you don’t return to the same situation in the future.

Many tree problems look similar to each other, requiring a professional opinion to correctly diagnose and correct the issue. If your trees are looking dry, disfigured or dying, call a certified arborist from OK Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.