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Rex Bastian demonstrates how to inspect a tree's leaves for signs of disease.

Five Tree Service Questions You Never Knew the Answer To

October 7, 2014

Davey’s Rex Bastian, a regional technical advisor, talks with Bill Moller on WGN Radio 720 to answer questions and inform homeowners about different tree diseases in the area. Do any of these symptoms sound like something causing your trees to suffer? Read below to find out more about tree diseases:

Homeowner: I know emerald ash borer infests ash trees, but can it infest my purple mountain ash tree?

RB: Yes. This is a true ash species, and the emerald ash borer will attack all true ash species. Your tree is at risk; however, we do have preventive treatment options available.

Homeowner: I have several Colorado blue spruce on my property, and I have recently noticed they are turning brown in the middle of the tree and dying back. There’s also a white sap on the branches and trunk that wasn’t there before. Are my trees goners?

RB: Our spruces suffered from the drought last summer. There are some needle cast diseases because a few years ago it was very wet, and we have also seen some canker diseases. Is it a goner? It depends on how bad it is. It really depends.

Homeowner: I was at a recent home show and some landscape company had a display showing needles going into an oak tree to prevent something he called oak wilt. He said it was coming to Illinois. Is this something I should have done to the oak tree in my yard?

RB: Always remember we don’t want to be treating for something that we don’t have the potential to get.  Before treating your tree for oak wilt, it is important to make sure we are actually dealing with that disease. I would hold off on treating your oak until after you have certified arborist take a look at it and confirm that it’s necessary.

Is your crabapple tree suffering from disease? Check the canopy; leaf drop is a symptom of apple scab disease.

Homeowner: I have a crabapple tree that I planted in 1970. Is it susceptible to disease?

RB: Older crabapples can start having some age problems and can develop cankers. If your tree has lost its leaves you could be dealing with apple scab, which is a common cause for leaf drop.

Reporter: What should people be worrying about this time of year?

RB: The trees that may have drought damage. Those are the trees to watch, because coming into this season they can be susceptible to borers and cankers. 

Do you have a question about one of your trees? Contact us for a free consultation! One of our professionally trained arborists would be happy to meet with you and answer all your tree disease questions this fall. 

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