Just like an infectious disease in people can spread and cause unprecedented damage, tree diseases can do the same.

Some tree problems can eventually lead to the death of the tree. The disease may also spread and have devastating effects in the area.

Of course, you could get it chopped down. But this could set you back up to $1,500. And you would lose a grand feature in your garden.

Instead of taking the drastic route and going for the chop, try to heal the diseased tree. But how can you save a diseased oak tree?

Don’t get stumped! Here’s all you need to know about common tree diseases and what you can do to save them.

Common Tree Diseases

There are various tree problems, some affect oak trees whereas others do not. Some are minor, whereas other diseases can kill your tree.

Here are 6 oak tree diseases that you should watch out for.

1. Armillaria Rot

Armillaria attacks both hardwoods and softwoods. It also kills vines, shrubs, and forbs. Armillaria is a major cause of the decline of oak trees in North America.

The fungi targets weakened trees. For example, oak trees that have become weak from pests, climate or storm damage. But Armillaria can also attack healthy oak trees and weaken them or kill them outright.

If Armillaria is left untreated, the diseased tree will decline and die. It may even cause the tree to become structurally unsafe. Which may lead to property damage or injury.

Symptoms include:

  • Dull leaves that wilt
  • Leaves change color to yellow or brown
  • Loss of vigor

What should you do if you think your tree has Armillaria rot? Call in a professional immediately.

2. Canker Rot

Canker rot is a tree fungus that can cause serious damage to hardwoods. Especially red oaks. Canker rot targets trees that become stressed or injured.

There are different strains of decay. And some Canker tree fungus is strong enough to kill young trees.

Cankers rarely kill well-established trees. But they can cause serious growth deformities, especially if there is canker rot on the branches.

Symptoms include:

  • Discolored lesion on the trunk or a branch
  • Small raised lesions on leaves
  • Rotten fruit (if it’s a fruit tree)

The best defense is good defense! Keep your trees healthy throughout the year to prevent infection. For example, wrap young trees in the winter and make sure to water the tree thoroughly in summer months.

If the Canker rot is serious, you may have to remove the branch to prevent the disease from spreading. Depending on the size and location of the branch, you may be able to do this yourself. But it’s always best to hire a professional.

3. Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt is one of the most serious tree problems in the US. It has become widespread in southern Wisconsin. It is particularly dangerous when it is present in a forest as it spreads fast.

The tree fungus preys on wounded trees. And the fungus will spread quickly through the roots or by insects.

Symptoms include:

  • Discolored wilting leaves
  • Darkened sap
  • Dying branches
  • Death of the tree (starting from the top of the tree)

Once the tree has become infected, there is no known cure. But you can spray for insects, which will stop the disease from spreading. The best thing you can do is ask a professional to give the diseased tree a full inspection.

4. Sooty Mold

Sooty mold, which looks like chimney soot, doesn’t look very attractive. But it generally doesn’t cause a lot of damage to the tree. Unless it’s left unchecked for a long period of time.

Sooty mold grows on top of honeydew. Honeydew is the excrement left from plant-sucking insects. As the sooty mold grows, it may start to coat the entire leaf so that it cannot absorb sunlight.

This eventually interrupts photosynthesis and the tree will stop producing nutrients. Over time, the tree will become weaker and become more susceptible to other common tree diseases.

Symptoms include:

  • Dark mold growing on leaves (which looks like chimney soot)
  • Loss of vigor

The best thing to do is to try and remove the pests. You can also use your hose pipe to clean off the diseased tree. This may take several attempts.

5. Drippy Oak

Erwinia Quercina or Drippy Oak is another tree fungus that common garden pests cause. The tree fungus doesn’t threaten the life of the tree. But the oozing black spots can be unsightly.

Symptoms include:

  • Clear or brown liquid dripping
  • Oozing black spots

You can wash away the drippy liquid with some soap and water. It will usually stop dripping on its own within a few weeks. But you may choose to prune some branches if they are hanging over your porch or play area, as the liquid can be sticky and unsightly.

6. Anthracnose

Another common tree disease is Anthracnose. This disease targets new shoots and twigs. It thrives in mild winters and can spread through windy weather.

Your oak tree may look untidy, but it’s not a fatal tree disease. Although, over time this disease will weaken the tree. This stress will make it more susceptible to pick up other tree problems and diseases.

Symptoms include:

  • Browning leaves and twigs
  • Browning leaf veins
  • Curling leaves
  • Fruiting bodies on the underside of leaves

Make sure the tree is being properly fed. You may need to prune the lower branches of the tree to increase circulation.

Dispose of any leaves and twigs that have fallen, as they can retain the disease and keep spreading.

Take Action Against Tree Diseases

If you have spotted any of these tree diseases in your garden, it’s time to take action. There’s no time to beat around the bush, the disease may spread and it may affect your entire garden.

If you live in Apple Valley, Farmington, Eagan, Rosemount, Lakeville, Burnsville, or any of the surrounding cities, we at Apple Valley Tree Service are here to help.

Contact us today and we can save the life of your tree before it’s too late. 

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