Trees are living things, so it stands to reason that they can become “sick” just like humans and animals can. A disease or other tree issue 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 MI Tree Trimming can help you identify and treat common tree issues so that you have a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an experienced arborist keep a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and more flowers or fruit.
Have you noticed a tree on your lawn that has always seemed OK but suddenly seems like something is wrong? In the next section, we’ll describe some of the most typical tree problems and diseases and what these symptoms mean for a tree.
If you notice any of these things on any of the trees on your property, act fast to have the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.
Tree Diseases & Common Problems
These 7 things are the most frequent problems addressed by experienced arborists in Michigan. As soon as you think one of these things might be wrong with your tree, reach out to someone with the training and equipment to help!
Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is a fungus that is common in both plants and trees. The name originates from the brown and yellow 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 tended to with fungicides and selective trimming of the affected leaves. It may be recommended to cut off whole branches with leaf rust.
Witches’ Broom – This tree disease results in a large mass of twigs, dead leaves and branches that resemble a broom shape. It is caused by insects, unusually wet weather or fungus. The construction of a clump of twigs and leaves is the tree’s reaction to infection or danger.
Some cases of Witches’ Broom are fatal for the tree, others are just considered a growth malformation. An arborist can diagnose the problem.
Mildew – Mildew is a fungus that grows on almost anything in wet conditions, but even after the wet conditions are gone, mildew can persist and thrive. Mildew appears as a powdery substance, typically white, and it often shows up on the leaves of a tree first.
The trick to eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that includes sulfur. This will treat the current mildew and help to stop future mildew on the tree. You might also need to trim the tree to remove branches, fruit, flowers and leaves that were affected by the mildew
Gall – Gall is a type of tree condition that happens 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 none of them are attractive.
Gall will appear as bumps on the tree, in various sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some shade in between.
It is not necessary to treat the tree for galls, but they can limit the growth of young trees. Treat galls by killing the insects. You should also clean out from under the tree when the leaves fall off, because this is where the pests survive during winter months.
Other Tree Problems
Poor Pruning – There’s an art to tree trimming, as well as many types, and if you aren’t sure how to do it, you could harm the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or a lack of pruning at all) can be just as big of an issue. Only a certified arborist should be trusted to trim trees in order to keep them healthy.
Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely affected by drought. If you plant new trees on your property, you will probably have to supplement how much water they get from rainfall. A tree that doesn’t get enough water can have its growth inhibited. The first symptom you are likely to noticed is scorched or dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.
Too Much Sun – Do your initial planning before planting trees in a sunny area of your property. Most species of trees can handle it without issue, but too much sun can become a problem for any tree if the sun is harsh 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 Michigan
A certified arborist from MI Tree Trimming will be able to quickly diagnose what’s going on with your sick tree and formulate a plan to rescue it.
Here is what an arborist is trained to do:
- Inspect trees from the ground and from the limbs of the tree if possible. Climbing into the canopy is typically necessary to see exactly what is leading to the symptoms.
- Treat your tree through additives and fertilizers in the dirt or products sprayed on the leaves. This person will have knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments.
- Trim tree limbs to remove dead or damaged branches and to assist healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to cut off branches so that the tree survives both the issue and the pruning.
- Remove the tree from your property if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is too far gone, and removing it is the only way to protect your home and surrounding landscape.
They can also educate you about the other trees that you have om your property and how to best maintain them so you don’t find yourself in the same situation in the future.
Many tree diseases look very similar to each other, requiring an expert opinion to accurately determine and treat the issue. If your trees are looking dry, unhealthy or disfigured, call a professional arborist from MI Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.