Here in Forney, Texas, homeowners take great pride in their yard and their trees. Not only are our trees and ornamentals a source of beauty, but they also provide shade from the intense summer heat. But even the biggest, strongest trees can catch diseases, and if you aren’t vigilant, an infection can lead to permanent damage or even the tree’s death. Here are some common tree diseases found in Texas to be on the lookout for.
Oak Wilt is caused by a fungus initially from Latin America and is carried by beetles that feed on the sap of oak trees. It affects both red and white oaks but is more common in red oaks. If your tree is infected, you will want to prune it only during extreme temperatures. Painting the wounds on oak trees with tar can also prevent other insects from entering the tree and causing further infections.
Only affecting bur oaks, this slow-moving fungus survives through the winter on infected leaves that remain attached to the tree. In the spring, wet weather causes bur oak blight to spread to other leaves. Symptoms do not usually appear until late July or early August. When fall arrives in Forney, the infected leaves will hang on to the tree to infect more of it next year. As the infection spreads over several years, it severely weakens and stresses the tree leaving it vulnerable to secondary pests and diseases. Although bur oak blight is not known to kill oak trees, the disease can weaken the tree enough to be killed by a secondary disease.
Affecting several types of trees in Forney, including pecan, elm, sycamore, and oak trees, Hypoxylon canker is a fungus that causes growth and death. It attacks trees that are left vulnerable from insect infestations and droughts especially. You will see branch dieback and bark falling off the trunk. The best way to prevent Hypoxylon canker is to make sure your trees are well watered during dry spells.
Bacterial leaf scorch is a rare bacterial infection that is spread by insects, particularly leafhoppers. The infection restricts the flow of water from the roots to the rest of the tree. Several trees, including oaks, elms, sycamores, and box elders are all susceptible. As the tree is deprived of water the leaves will start to brown around the edges. The infection will severely stress and weaken the tree leaving it open to other pests and diseases.
Anthracnose is a common tree disease and can infect oak, maple, ash, sycamore, and many other species. The fungus appears as dead spots on leaves that disrupt the photosynthesis process. Left untreated, anthracnose can lead to early defoliation which can stress the tree and make it vulnerable to secondary diseases. Anthracnose doesn’t die at the end of each year. Instead, it continues to spread and can severely damage or stunt the growth of your trees. The first signs of anthracnose can be seen In the late fall and early spring as black bumps on leaves. The bumps release spores that can spread to other trees.
Typically targeting fruit trees, fire blight can decimate orchards here in Forney, Texas. The bacteria spend the winter in cankers on the tree. In the spring when the tree starts to grow it emerges as an ooze from branches. The blossoms and leaves of the tree will turn black and droop. The infection can spread to neighboring trees via wind or insects. Fire blight can be controlled by trimming branches with host cankers.
When spring arrives, make sure you give your trees a thorough inspection. Catching problems early is the best way to keep your trees healthy. If you suspect your trees have a tree disease or are infested with pests, call the tree care experts at Lawn Lab. Our tree and shrub care program is designed to keep your ornamentals thriving all year long.
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