The key diseases of conifer trees can be subdivided into four categories: needle diseases, blight and canker diseases, vascular diseases, and root diseases.
Most needle diseases are not severe enough to cause fatality in a tree, but symptoms should be monitored to prevent spread of disease and preserve the vitality of the tree. Conifers affected with needle disease lose their needles prematurely and may appear disfigured. Since needles are required for photosynthesis, partial defoliation of these needles can weaken a tree. As the disease progresses and more needles are lost, the tree becomes less and less able to obtain the necessary energetic resources for life and will eventually die.
Outbreaks of needle diseases are most common during cool, wet spring months. Trees already under existing stress from other disease or environmental factors are more susceptible to disease. There are numerous management options when it comes to needle diseases. If caught early, many trees can recover from needle disease and restore their vitality.
In contrast to needle diseases, blight and canker diseases, such as Diplodia Blight and Leucostoma Canker, often have a moderate to severe impact on tree health and can be very difficult to manage. Vascular diseases and root diseases are also very severe and likely to result in tree death.
In all cases of disease, prevention is the best cure. Maintaining your tree’s vigor and reducing stress by using preferred planting practices can go a long way toward the long-term preservation of your trees. Pruning and removal of limbs and trees symptomatic of disease can also help to prevent the spread of disease to healthy trees. To establish a tree maintenance plan for your landscape, call or text Eric and schedule your free consultation.