Iowa is home to many different types of trees, providing beautiful landscaping, shade from the sun, and environmental benefits. However, tree diseases can find their way to Iowa too. Just like any other living organism, trees can be susceptible to diseases. Let’s discuss 5 common tree diseases you might find in Iowa and how to treat them.
1. Oak Wilt
Oak wilt is caused by the fungus Bretiella Fagacearum. The fungus is transmitted to the tree through sap-feeding beetles. Oak wilt is difficult to control and can quickly attack and kill healthy trees. Signs of oak wilt include rapid leaf discoloration, wilting leaves, dead tree crowns, and complete leaf drop during the summer.
2. Diplodia (Sphaeropsis) Tip Blight
Diplodia tip blight (also called Sphaeropsis tip blight) is a fungal disease found in pine trees and conifers, particularly those that are drought stressed. Symptoms of Diplodia tip blight are brown or straw-colored needles, small, black fruiting bodies on needles or cones, and oozing resin that sticks to blighted needles. It can kill branches and eventually whole trees in severe cases.
3. Dutch Elm Disease
Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is a vascular wilt disease caused by the fungus Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. DED can cause wilt and death in every type of elm tree. The fungus can be spread through elm bark beetles or from tree to tree through root grafts. DED can be identified by yellowing and wilting leaves on individual branches. This usually begins in the outer crown of the tree and spreads down.
4. White Pine Blister Rust
White pine blister rust (WPBR) can kill branches, tree tops, or entire pine trees if infected branches are not pruned. WPBR causes all the needles on individual branches to turn yellow and eventually a bright rusty red. Branches with dead needles will also have a canker that oozes sap. In the spring, you may see orange spores around the canker.
5. Apple Scab
Apple scab disease commonly affects apple and crab apple trees in Iowa. It is caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis which affects both the leaves and the fruit on the tree. The disease first appears on leaves as round light green or yellow spots. Spots will eventually turn dark brown and drop from the tree. Infected fruit will develop the same spots and may become deformed and unfit to eat.
Prevention is key when it comes to tree diseases. Regular pruning, proper watering, and application of fungicides can help prevent many tree diseases. Many trees are most susceptible to disease in early spring when new growth emerges. If you suspect your trees may be infected with a disease, it is important to contact a certified arborist who can properly diagnose and treat the problem.
Premium Tree Services offers tree trimming, tree removal, and other services in Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding area. It is our commitment to ensure plant health and customer satisfaction. Call Premium Tree Services at (515) 480-1984 if you suspect your tree has a disease or to schedule preventative maintenance.