Ah springtime. The musical bird chirps. The newly sprouted plants blowing in the seasonal breeze.
And, the pesky insects that have it out for our trees.
After a long winter, some trees may be weak from stressful weather elements. Vulnerable trees invite unwanted pests and diseases.
But that’s no reason for you to stress out. Proactive care can keep your trees strong through the growing season. Below we answer questions you may have about common pests and diseases.
If you see leaves browning at the veins just as they begin to bud, anthracnose could be the culprit. You’ll probably notice brown dots and yellow blotches, too. The fungal disease thrives in cool, wet spring weather.
Look to these tree care practices to defend against anthracnose. Trees with premature leaf drop may need a fungicide treatment from a certified arborist.
Carbohydrates in plant sap and tree leaves and stems are the perfect treat for hungry aphids. After eating away at trees, they leave behind sticky, sugary syrup called honeydew, curl trees’ leaves and attract the sooty black mold fungi.
Several types of aphids affect different regions, so the most effective treatment is one tailored to your tree’s needs. Ask your local arborist about options for your area.
Aphids aren’t the only pests that plague trees with honeydew and sooty mold. Scale insects are a smaller—and more detrimental—pest with the same territorial mark. Beyond their mold, you can actually see the scale insects! They clump together to create colorful, spots on bark, leaves twigs and needles. A large presence of scale insects causes tree decline.
Prevent those persistent scale insects in the last few weeks of winter. Applying dormant oil now stops the pests before spring. If the problem continues, an insecticide treatment may be needed later in the season.