7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living things, so that means that they can get “sick” like humans and animals can. A disease or other tree problem might take a little while to show itself due to the sheer size of the tree, and once symptoms become obvious, it could be too late to save the tree.

A certified arborist from AL Tree Trimming can help you diagnose and treat common tree issues so that there is a much greater chance of keeping the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist help to prevent a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and more flowers or fruit with professional tree trimming.

Have you ever noticed a tree on your lawn that has always seemed OK but all of the sudden looks like something is wrong? In the next paragraphs, we’ll describe some of the most typical tree issues and what these symptoms mean for a tree.

If you spot any of these things on any of your trees, act fast to have the best chance of saving the tree and the ones around it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most frequent problems encountered by experienced arborists in Alabama. The moment you think one of these things is wrong with your tree, call someone with the knowledge and equipment to help!

Tree Diseases

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

Leaf rust is bad because it inhibits the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be treated with fungicides and selective tree pruning of the diseased leaves. It may be recommended to cut off entire branches with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This tree disease creates a large clump of twigs, dead leaves and branches that resemble a broom shape. It is caused by pests, unusually rainy weather or fungus. The construction of a clump of leaves and twigs is the tree’s reaction to infection or danger.

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

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

The the best method for eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will treat the current mildew and stop future mildew on the tree. You might also need to prune the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and any leaves that have been affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a tree condition that appears when insects build small nests on the leaves or branches of a tree to leave their eggs in. Most galls are not harmful to the tree, but they are not attractive.

Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in a range of sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some shade in between.

You do not have to treat the tree if there are galls, but they can inhibit the growth of recently planted trees. Treat galls by killing the pests. You should also clean out from under the tree after the leaves fall off, because this is where the pests live during winter months.

Other Tree Problems

Incorrect Trimming – There’s an art to tree pruning, as well as many types, and if you don’t know what to do, you could damage the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of an issue. Only an experienced arborist should be trusted to prune trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely affected by drought. If you decide to plant new trees on your property, you will need 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 sign you are likely to see is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do your initial research before planting trees in a sunny area. Most species of trees can handle it without issue, but too much sun can become a problem for any tree if the sun is too hot for an extended period and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs even more water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Alabama

A certified arborist from AL Tree Trimming will quickly identify what’s happening with your sick tree and come up with a plan to save it.

Here are the things an arborist is trained to do:

  • Inspect trees from below and from the branches of the tree if necessary. Getting into the canopy is usually necessary to understand exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with additives and fertilizers in the soil or solutions applied to the leaves. This person will have expert knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Prune trees to eliminate dead or diseased branches and to encourage healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is needed, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree can survive both the problem and the pruning process.
  • Remove the tree from your lawn if there is no chance to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is dying, and cutting it down is the best choice to protect your home and surrounding landscape.

They can also educate you about the other trees that you have on your property and how to best maintain them so you don’t return to the same situation again.

Many tree problems look similar to each other, requiring an expert eye to accurately diagnose and treat the problem. If your trees appear to be dry, disfigured or dying, call a certified arborist from AL Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.