Is your tree looking a little worse for wear? Are you wondering if a specific spot or blight you’ve noticed lately is normal? Trees, like all living things, are susceptible to health problems and diseases that can stunt growth, cause unwanted changes, and even lead to the loss of your tree. Luckily, your resident arborist and tree experts at Vintage Tree Care are here to share the most common issues you may experience. 

Common Tree Problems 

Oftentimes tree problems are less severe than tree diseases and can often be reversed with proper care and expert consideration. 

Some of the most common tree problems include: 

  • Scorched Leaves– Leaves can get scorched due to overexposure to harsh sunlight or high winds. Leaf scorch due to weather-related reasons is evidenced by dehydrated leaves that look brown, shriveled, and have burn marks near the tips/outer part of the leaf. To help combat leaf scorching, we suggest you increase watering and add mulch around your tree for protection and moisture absorption. 
  • Wilted Leaves – When leaves wilt, they lose their overall shape and rigidity. This is caused by a falling turgor pressure in the plant cells due to water loss. Drought is generally the culprit behind wilted, drooping leaves. Leaf wilting can often be remedied by relocating the plant to an area with less sunlight or increasing watering. (Note: we recommend checking the soil around your tree before increasing its water intake, as overwatering can also lead to wilted leaves)  
  • Improper Pruning– Improper pruning can manifest in a multitude of ways: what we commonly see is either an overly trimmed tree or a severely under-trimmed tree that is overgrown with fur. In both cases, the tree can struggle to breathe and absorb water as a result. To ensure the best pruning treatment is utilized, we recommend you enlist the help of a tree-trimming professional. 
  • Drought Effects– Trees need water to survive, so it comes as no surprise that drought can lead to some serious negative effects. A prolonged lack of water can lead to damaging long-term effects like stunted growth and tree death. Although the weather is out of your control, you can save your tree by watering it periodically during extended periods of drought. 

Identifying Tree Diseases 

While some tree diseases are easy to spot, such as tree spotting or bug bites, others are more hidden and require expert knowledge. Here are the most popular tree diseases that may try to attack your tree:

leaves on tree with orange and yellow spots on them
  • Leaf Rust- Rust fungus is a common disease found in trees and plants. It works to quietly weaken the plant’s photosynthesis system, leaving the leaves with unattractive yellow-brown spots. Leaf rust can be combatted through the use of fungicides and/or eliminating tree leaves that are already damaged. 
  • Mildew- Mildew forms a white coating on leaf surfaces and damages the overall leaf health. Mildew can be successfully treated by fungicides specialized to control mildew outbreak. 
  • Gall- Gall is a condition that manifests itself as abnormal growths on different areas of the tree. These unsightly bumps can vary in size and color, but are typically described as bladder or pouch-like growth. Most galls are created by insects and mites to store eggs. While they are extremely unsightly, most galls are primarily an aesthetic problem and do little to no damage to the tree.  
  • Witches’ Broom- Witches’ Broom is another tree disease that causes a deformed physical appearance. A Witches Broom looks exactly as the name suggests: Like a dense mass of sticks growing from a single point, which results in a shape that resembles a broom. Oftentimes a Witches’ Broom can be cut out from the affected tree. However, the tree should be carefully inspected by an arborist to determine if it is pest or disease-related.

Your Local Sonoma County Arborist 

A tree, when planted and cared for properly, can become a lifelong addition to your property. Ensure that your tree doesn’t suffer from damaging diseases and provide it with a full, long life with our expert care tips. The certified arborists at Vintage Tree Care can assist you with all aspects of tree care, including specific tree diseases. To schedule an appointment please call or contact us online today.