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Identifying The Three Most Common Tree Diseases And How To Properly Treat Them

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Trees are susceptible to diseases just as humans are. If you do not properly care for your trees they can fall victim to illnesses which can spread to the rest of your trees and plants, putting your entire yard at risk. Inspect your trees and plants daily. If you notice that your trees are not looking as healthy as usual, you will want to treat them right away to prevent death of the tree roots. If you don't nurse your ill tree back to health right away, it could die and lead to the entire tree needing to be removed. Below is a list of the three most common diseases that affect your trees and how to properly nurse them back to health.


BLS stands for Bacterial Leaf Scorch and is found most commonly in Maple, Oak and Elm trees. This infection is bacterial and it works its way through the vascular system of your tree and eventually blocks off the tree's tissue that conducts water. This disease can also be spread to your garden through insects. Once it attacks your garden, your tomato and pepper plants will be destroyed.

If you notice that the leaves on your tree are turning brown and the middle of the leaves are turning yellow, it is more than likely that your tree already has BLS. This bacterial infection is not a curable tree disease; however, there are ways to stall the deterioration process and prevent it from spreading to other plants in your yard. Sprinkle fertilizer around the trunk of the tree and provide your infected tree with more water to keep grasshoppers and other bacteria insects from eating the bacteria and spreading it other plant life.

Root Rot

Phytophthora Disease is more commonly known as "root rot" or "plant destroyer." The roots of your tree with begin to wilt or decay due to too much water. There are several ways to control this illness and to keep the infection from spreading throughout your yard. Some of these methods include:

  • Avoid over mulching your tree.

  • Improve the draining system your have for your soil.

  • Avoid overwatering your tree. Once your tree is infected, the small spores that it produces will begin to feed off of the moisture and it will spread the infection throughout your tree.


Anthracnose effects Sycamores, Maple and Dogwood trees. This disease first attacks the leaves of the tree and will make the leaves look discolored, blotchy and dead. To tell if the leaf is dead, apply a little pressure to see if it breaks easily. It is important to treat your tree right away if you notice that the leaves have any of the characteristics listed above. If the tree remains improperly treated, the disease will spread throughout the tree and make it more prone to pesky insects.

To properly care for your tree that has anthracnose disease, you will need to:

  • Remove any infected leaves and rake around the tree's roots. This will remove the main source of the illness and prevent it from spreading.

  • Remove any dead branches from the tree to prevent the disease from getting into the tree's veins.

  • Provide your tree with more fertilizer and water. You will want to start watering your tree daily to ensure it is getting the moisture that it needs. Water will improve the circulation of your tree and will help with it to heal at a faster rate.

You should properly care for your tree in the same way you would care for yourself in order to prevent diseases. Trees are just as susceptible to illnesses as we are. Being able to identify these illnesses are quick and easy. Daily inspections of your plants and trees, along with proper care will help bring back your trees and have your yard looking healthy once again. If necessary, contact a professional tree care service company, such as Lawn-Tech, Ltd.