If you have a deciduous tree in your yard, you’re accustomed to the leaves turning brown and falling off in autumn. It’s probably part of what you enjoy about your tree so much! But when those leaves turn brown during spring and summer, you might wonder if something is wrong with your tree. As a matter of fact, yes, discolored leaves can be a sign of several types of foliar disease.
Foliar disease in trees can range from a merely cosmetic issue to a deadly problem that can destroy every tree in your yard. And these diseases can be triggered by numerous underlying causes, from mites and other insects, to drought conditions, to root diseases and even fungal conditions. In fact, fungus is the most common culprit in foliar disease.
As with human diseases, the first thing you need to do is accurately identify the cause of your tree’s foliar disease. This will help you determine how to correctly tackle the problem. You want to take care to identify it correctly, because treating the problem incorrectly won’t solve it (or might even make it worse).
Many foliar diseases appear similar, but have drastically different outcomes. For example, dogwood anthracnose can kill your flowering dogwood trees. But dogwood spot anthracnose merely causes cosmetic issues with the leaves, but usually does not kill trees. And yet they appear very similar, and have nearly identical names! This example illustrates the point that consulting with a tree expert is generally recommended so that you correctly identify the cause of discoloration or spots on your tree’s leaves.
When a disease is diagnosed, removal of all diseased tissue is often the prescribed course of treatment. We can do this with tree trimming and then removal of all diseased material from your property. You don’t want to leave behind fungal spores or other contagious material.
On the other hand, foliar disease caused by environmental conditions must be treated by remedying those conditions. If drought is affecting your tree, the obvious course of action is to adjust your watering schedule. When soil conditions are suspect, certain amendments can help restore health to your tree.
Give us a call if you’ve noticed a problem with your tree’s leaves, and we will help you to correctly identify the problem. Then we will recommend tree trimming or other services as needed, to get your tree healthy again.