Tree Diseases Common in Spring

Spring Tree Diseases

Tree diseases can crop up any time of year, but in spring especially, thanks to warmer weather and an influx of insects which might exacerbate or even cause some tree diseases.

Bacteria and viruses can thrive in the spring, which encourages decay.

Fungus is also a problem, especially in wet weather. Fungi can cause leaf spots, by far one of the most common problems that can plague your tree, discoloring parts of leaves and/or even killing them. These spots can be found on ornamental trees anywhere in the country.

Fungi spores are spread by the wind, so any tree can get them, but the good news is that leaf spots are almost always mostly a cosmetic problem, so don’t worry about losing a tree to them. Still, they don’t beautify your yard, so you might want to try treating affected trees with a fungicide. Also, regularly rake up leaves and quickly get rid of any standing water.

By nature, leaf spot growth is discouraged by cooler weather, so sooner or later they’re likely to disappear on their own.

Is There a Doctor in the Greenhouse?

Another common disease is anthracnose, which targets ash, maple, oak, sycamore and other shade trees. Your tree might have anthracnose if you notice a burned leaf appearance, especially along the veins. Branches might retreat if the infection is serious.

This disease can’t be treated with a fungicide, but it can be relieved with proper pruning and care. Get rid of fallen leaves and minimize overwatering if you can.

If you have quince or cedar-apple rust disease in your landscape trees, you’ll notice horns that seem to appear out of nowhere. These jelly-like fungi really flourish during wetter weather. You might also notice spindle-shaped spores.

For crab apple trees, the spores are spread via the wind, causing rusty spots on leaves. Such infections can cause defoliation early on, low-quality fruit and stunted growth. It’s a cycle that keeps going year-round.

Quince rust target a number of tree species, destroying fruit and distorting twigs. This type of spore can kill trees, and pruning is the best way to tackle this danger. Aim to cut branches about seven inches below the galls (ideally while the weather is dry) and use only sterilized tools. You may even consider planting trees nearby that are resistant to this disease to stop the spreading.

Getting Rid of Disease

It can be difficult for a non-arborist to correctly identify pests and diseases. If the wrong diagnosis is made and a treatment is selected, you might do more harm than good to your trees. Plus, with so many strategies and tools available for each disease, it can be easy to make a mistake. It’s usually best to rely on an expert to care for tree health.

Early spring is the perfect time to get a head start on making sure your trees are healthy and ready to thrive this season. Make sure your trees are disease free — call Reliable Tree Care today to schedule your inspection.