What Homeowners Should Know About Tree Diseases

Disease is one of the biggest problems in residential tree care. Given the potential risk that a diseased tree could die and fall, the consequences for people and property can be severe. Homeowners should take a proactive approach whenever possible. Here is how to care for the trees near your home.

Spotting Disease

Knowing the signs of disease can make a huge difference. An unhealthy tree often displays distress at its extremities first. These are the distant parts of the tree, and shutting them down can save energy to fight diseases. You may see leaves develop discolorations, spots, or holes. Twigs and branches could weaken and break, too.

Untreated disease might spread throughout the tree or even to neighboring trees. You may see lumpy growths. Excess sap may flow heavily down the tree's trunk. Fungi can also begin growing on the tree or around its base. Eventually, the tree's canopy will thin before it finally dies.

You might see insect activity around a weakened tree. Many insects leave silky masses around the branches. Also, you might spot the insects on the tree.

Possible Sources of Disease

Trees can suffer viral, fungal, or bacterial infections. Likewise, insect infestations can trigger disease-like symptoms. Poor soil and water conditions also can lead to a variety of conditions. However, some trees are just old and weak.


At the first sign that there might be a problem, you should take proactive measures. Contact a residential tree care services firm. Have a professional check out the tree and verify if your suspicions are correct.

Possible measures will vary depending on the source of the disease. If a tree is growing in poor soil, for example, a professional might want to treat the dirt at the tree's roots to improve its health. Unsurprisingly, fungicides are often the answer when a tree has a fungal infection. Conversely, the solution for an old or dying tree might simply be to remove it.

Another class of treatments involves accelerating the tree's natural reductive processes. If the branches are weak from disease, a residential tree care professional might recommend pruning and trimming. This allows the tree to push more energy into its remaining strong points, increasing the odds that it can resist further infection.

Sometimes, the root source of the problem is treatable. Fungi may grow because the soil is too wet. Installing a drainage system on the property can change the conditions and eliminate the fungus.

Contact a residential tree care service to learn more.