7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living organisms, so that means that they can get “sick” just like humans and animals can. A disease or other tree issue may take a while to show itself due to the sheer size of the tree, and once you identify a symptom, it could be too late to save the tree.

A certified arborist from IA Tree Trimming can diagnose and treat tree problems so that you have a much better chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist help to stop a tree from dying, but they are also able to help trees get healthier growth and bloom more flowers or fruit with professional tree trimming.

Have you noticed a tree on your property that has always seemed OK but suddenly seems like something is wrong? In the next blog post, we’ll explain some of the most common tree issues and what these symptoms mean.

If you notice any of these things, 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 typical issues encountered by professional arborists in Iowa. The moment you think one of these things might be wrong with your tree, reach out to someone with the training and equipment to help!

Tree Diseases

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

Leaf rust is dangerous 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 might be necessary to remove whole limbs with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This disease creates a large grouping of twigs, dead leaves and branches that resemble a broom shape. It is caused by insects, unusually rainy 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. An arborist can tell you for sure.

Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on just about anything in moist conditions, but even when the moist conditions are over with, mildew can persist and thrive. It usually appears as a powdery texture, typically white, and it usually appears on the leaves of a tree first.

The the best method for treating mildew is to use a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will treat the current mildew and help to prevent future mildew on the tree. You may also need to prune the tree to remove limbs, fruit, flowers and any leaves that were affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of tree disease that appears when pests or rodents build small nests on the leaves or twigs of a tree to leave their eggs in. Most types of galls are not dangerous for the tree, but none of them are 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 new trees. Treat galls by killing the pests. You should also clean out from under the tree when the leaves fall off, because this is where the insects live during winter months.

Other Tree Problems

Incorrect Trimming – There’s a science to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could harm the tree past the point of recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) is just as big of a problem. Only a trained arborist should be trusted to prune trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – New trees can be significantly affected by drought. If you plant new trees, you will need to supplement how much water they get from rainfall. A tree that doesn’t get enough water will have its growth stunted. The first symptom you are likely to see is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do your planning before planting trees in a full-sun area. Many species of trees can handle it just fine, but too much sun can happen to any tree if the sun is harsh for a long period and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs extra water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Iowa

An experienced arborist from IA Tree Trimming will quickly diagnose what’s happening with your sick tree and put together a plan to save it.

Here is what an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Inspect trees from below and from the limbs of the tree if possible. Getting into the canopy is usually necessary to see exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree with additives and fertilizers in the dirt or products applied to the leaves. The arborist will have knowledge about the disease affecting your tree and the most effective treatments for it.
  • Prune trees to get rid of dead or diseased branches and to help healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to cut off branches so that the tree survives both the disease and the pruning.
  • Remove the tree from your lawn if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case is that the tree is too far gone, and removing it is the best way to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

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

Some tree problems look similar to one another, requiring a professional eye to correctly diagnose and treat the problem. If your trees are looking dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a certified arborist from IA Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late for your tree.