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What's wrong with my tree?

Pest, fungus, mechanichal damage, storm damage?
ISA Tree Owner Information
Diagnosis

Try to determine whether the tree is declining from a living or nonliving factor. 

Living (Biotic) disorders include plant pathogens - fungi, bacteria, and insects...and many more.
Nonliving (Abiotic) disorders include environmental problems - drought, temperature, mechanical injuries, soil compaction...and many more.

If you can determine whether it is specific to a certain tree or species it helps narrow down the field.
Often there is more than one cause for a tree's decline in health.  A healthy tree usually has the ability to fight off pests and diseases.  However, a stressed tree allocates rescources to deal with the stressers, such as drought, and leaves very little in the reserves to fight off the infection or borer infestation etc.
SIGNS
  • Exit holes - borer
  • Decay
  • Fungal fruiting bodies 
  • Dieback
  • Stunting
  • Vascular discoloration
  • ​Wilt

Wilting - usually if the leaves are wilting it indicates that water is not reaching the leaves sufficiently.  What can cause this? Root disease, vascular disease and drought. 

Spotted ​Lanternfly



Eveyone is starting to see these around more and more.  On your Tree of Heaven? On the smooth bark of your maple tree, apple tree, oak tree, ...or just simply everywhere?

Find out more here:  

Spotted Lanternfly
What to do
Pest Allert
Living
  1. Verticillium Wilt is caused by a soil-born fungi that infects the vascular system of a tree. This clogs the flow and causes wilt of the leaves and eventually death of entire branches. Norway Maples are very susceptible to this vascular disease.
  2. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
    If you have a Hemlock you probably have Wooly Adelgid. The white "woolly" fluffs on the needles is a sure sign of this tiny pest. They feed on the needles and small branches of the Hemlock and cause branch die-back.
  3. Gypsy Moth
  4. Borers
    Emerald Ash Borer Peach Borer Bronze Birch Borer
  5. Oak Wilt
  6. Thousand Cankers Disease
  7. Bagworm
  8. Black Knot
Verticillium Wilt
More INFO V.W.
Image Search: Verticillium Wilt
More INFO H.W.A.
Image Search: H W A
   
Fungus attacks oaks, spread by beetle, red oak family especially susceptible.
    
   
Pests appear in abundance, defoliate trees by chewing, trees are stressed and can be significantly compromised if the infestations and defoliation continues on a yearly basis.
    

More INFO O.W.
Image Search:  Oak Wilt
More INFO G.M.
Image Search: Gypsy Moth
More INFO E.A.B.
   
Fungus attacks Walnuts, spread by beetle and fungus, Black Walnut especially susceptible.
    
More INFO T.C.D.
Image Search: T C Disease
Other Borers
Image Search: Borers

The Bagworm creates a camouflage covering that disguises its appearance to look more like a pinecone or part of the plant, and the larvae feed on the needles of its host tree, which include Arborvitae, Juniper, Pine, Spruce, other evergreen species.
    
   
Fungus attacks trees in of the Prunus species (Plumb, Cherry, etc.), affects twigs and branches, visually apears as black bulging growth.
More INFO Black Knot
Image Search: Black Knot
More INFO Bagworm
Image Search: Bagworm
Nonliving
  1. Soil Compaction
    After construction, sever foot traffic, and other events that compacts the soil around the absorbing roots of a tree, the environment below ground is restrictive to proper growth. The soil will need to be aerated and treated to correct this.
  2. Girdling Roots
    Girdling roots is a condition in which the tree's roots strangle and restrict flow when it's roots wrap around the trunk. As the tree grows in diameter the roots get tighter and tighter. Often a tree develops girdling roots as a young transplant. Container grown, or improperly planted trees are very susceptible to girdling roots.
  3. Drought
    Droughts are hard on all living things, and trees are large plants that require a lot of water. If the tree has shallow roots the drought will stress it quickly and the leaves will show it by wilting. To encourage deep roots you can water the tree with deep, long slow, soaking rather than quick spritzing of the soil which only moistens the top few inches. The roots reach for the water and if that is at the surface then all of the roots will be where it dries up the fastest.
  4. Mechanical Injury
    Any physical injury or damage. Lawn mowers and string trimmers are often the cause of mechanical injury.
  5. A tree planted too low or too high can create a serious long lasting stress that allows other agents to attack and kill the tree.
  6. Storm Damage
    Extremes in temperature, Branch breakage, frost cracks, lightning strikes, etc.
Image Search: Girdling Roots
Planted Too Low
Image Search: Planted too low
Applying mulch is one of the best things you can do for a tree.  It helps maintain soil moisture, protects against mower and string trimmer damage, and can help significantly with compaction.     
Mulch also adds nutrients and organic matter into the soil. 


    
Benefits of Mulch
Proper Mulching