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Common Diseases Found In Trees

Trees and shrubs are not only a beautiful part of our landscape but an essential part of the survival of the Earth’s delicate ecosystem. If you have wooded areas on your property or just a few trees for shade, it’s good to know how to recognize the health of the trees that you want to keep growing. There are so many varieties of trees and bushes that it would difficult to list all of the viral and bacterial threats in one article, so we have cultivated a helpful list of some of the more common diseases found in trees along with their treatment options. Keep a close eye on your growing trees and be diligent in choosing healthy plants to start this season.


Oak Wilt

Beetles that are infected with this type of fungus are the carriers and spreaders of Oak Wilt. This can affect over 20 species of oak but is most commonly seen in the red and white oak varieties. These trees can be found in all areas of North America making, Oak Wilt a real threat to trees everywhere. The initial infection is passed from the Beatles directly into the root system. The first signs of the fungus are the discoloration of the leaves along with the namesake wilting as well as the premature dropping of leaves and small branches.


Unfortunately, the Red Oak cannot be treated once it is infected and the results will end up with the eventual death of the tree. The white oak can be treated with propiconazole, which is an antifungal agent.


Photinia Leaf Spot

This disease is mainly found in the South and can affect the Red Tip Photinia, pear tree varieties and Indian Hawthorne. The fungus starts as red spots on the leaf, fruit, and stems. Eventually, the smaller spots will grow together into large red splotches with light grey centers.


You will have to be diligent with your treatment plan to battle this aggressive fungal infection. Start by planting in a full sun area that can help slow the spread of the disease through its natural growth. Adopt a schedule of administering fungicides with propiconazole to see any effective results.



One of the most widely spread diseases that can affect many different species of trees and bushes. The Flowering Dogwood and the Sycamore species have been found to be highly susceptible and should be monitored closely. Trees in all parts of North America have reported Anthracnose outbreaks. This disease can attack in many different areas so it remains hard to detect. Early defoliation of leaves and twigs is a sure sign that something is wrong. Look for a white powdery film on the underside of leaves but keep in mind that any part of the tree that is above the ground can be affected.


You should start your protective regimen approximately two weeks prior to bud break and continue through the growing season. Start with foliar applications of fungicide and continue into the season with trunk injections. Thiabendazole has proven to be the best systemic fungicide for the treatment of Anthracnose breakouts.


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