No matter where you go in Pennsylvania, you are likely to encounter trees in some form. Trees are everywhere and being outdoors is part of the fabric of our state. However, with the beauty and grace of trees also comes a huge problem: diseases and pests.

When trees get diseases, they can often spread them to other things in your yard, creating an epidemic. Learning how to spot the signs of a disease can help you to save quite a bit of stress from your life.  The signs may not be obvious, so it is up to you to look at your tree regularly so that you can know when something is off.

While there are well over five common tree diseases for Pennsylvania, there are five that tend to stand out more than any other diseases:Tree Disease

5. Anthracnose

  • Leaves turn spotty and die/
  • Foliage starts to fall in the late summer
  • Growth becomes irregular, fewer showings in the spring

Any shade trees, an incredibly common tree choice in PA, is susceptible to getting Anthracnose disease. Most commonly, this disease is spotted in oak, maple, dogwood, ash, and sycamore trees according to the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The disease shows up as a fungus on the twigs and/or leaves of your tree. If you pay attention, you will be able to find these signs and save your tree. Professionals can remove the fungus if it is caught early enough. However, it can spread to other trees and plants throughout your yard if it isn’t caught early. It spreads not only through the wind, but also by animals.

Be extra careful to check the damp or wet places in your yard, where it is sure to start its growth.

4. Needle Cast

  • Purple or brown needles start showing up
  • Tree dies from the bottom up
  • Tree appears thinner or leaner

Needle cast is a problem for trees all over the United State. According to the University of Minnesota, it is one of the main reasons why the Blue Spruce tree has declined in population over the last few years. This is a problematic disease to catch because it doesn’t show itself. By the time you see some of the signs, it might be too late. You have to really pay attention to the bottom of your tree to see the problem areas.

If you want to save your tree, call a tree care professional as soon as you see something that looks off.

3. Emerald Ash Borer

  • Yellowing leaves in summer or early spring
  • First trees to lose foliage
  • Holes or trails form in the bark on the trunk of the tree

The Emerald Ash Borer is one of the worst problems that can occur to a PA tree. This is a problem that has wreaked havoc all over the United States. When the Emerald Ash Borer, a pest, is in the larval stage, it burrows into trees and continues to grow there. They use up the nutrients and the water that allows the tree to grow, effectively starving the tree. While this problem is new, it is vicious.

The biggest problem with the Emerald Ash Borer is that it will continue to mate, grow, and spread to more trees throughout your yard and even into your neighbors’ trees. It isn’t uncommon to find entire communities facing the same problem, and it can all be traced back to one specific tree.

The problem shows no signs of stopping, according to the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, who says that the pest has killed over 40 million trees.

2. Armillaria Root Rot

  • Odd growths on the trunk of the tree
  • Mushrooms near the base of the tree and extending outwards
  • Tree gets strange growths on leaves eventually

Maple and oak tree stumps should always be removed, if only because they are the main cause of Armillaria Root Rot. This won’t only infect your stumps, but the rest of your trees as well. Trees die from this disease, so it is best to find the problem in stumps, according to The American Phytopathological Society.

The problem starts within the roots and works its way up into your yard. You’ll start by seeing more and more mushrooms under the tree and around the base, then you will start to see some dying within the tree.

Most commonly found in trees that are planted in areas of drought, if you even suspect you have this problem, it is best to call a tree care professional.

1. Seiridium Cranker

  • Leaves that die randomly throughout the year
  • Brown patches on branches that suddenly appears
  • Swollen cankers that drip sap

If we are in the middle of a drought, Seridium Cranker is going to be your tree’s worst enemy. This is a nasty disease that can hit at any time but is more common during times of drought. It is a fungus that ravages your tree, attacking the vascular system of one tree and then moving onto another tree. If you have several trees close together, you have to be on top of inspecting your trees for the signs of this disease.

To avoid this disease, keep your trees fertilized and regularly watered. Throughout treatment, Oklahoma State University recommends doing the same thing to give it a fighting chance.

For those who can do it, this disease does not have to be a death sentence for your tree. A professional can remove all of the branches and leaves that have been infected in an effort to contain the disease.

You can’t treat most diseases by yourself. It is almost impossible for people to get ahold of the chemicals and tools that can help to clear up these diseases. Put your trust in a team of professionals if you spot any of the above warning signs.

The team at Cutting Edge Tree Professionals works with your yard and your trees to see if there really is a problem. If there isn’t, we can give you some hints on how to keep them healthy. If there is something wrong with your trees, then we can get to work to make them healthier and stronger.

Give us a call today to set up a free consultation: (814) 240-2172.

Header photo courtesy of Ari He on Flickr!