In Tampa Bay, we have a large and beautiful variety of trees. Unfortunately, we also have some tree diseases that affect us here in West Central Florida. Here is a list of eleven of the top tree diseases in our area.
Aphids are the most common tree and shrub pest in Florida with over 400 different species,. This pest feeds directly off of sap from new growth areas of trees and shrubs. Aphids excrete honeydew as a waste product, which is a sticky substance that gets all over everything from sidewalks to vehicles and structures. Crepe Myrtle, Burr Oaks ad Fruit trees are the typical targets.
The insect Leafhopper carries and transmits this bacterium throughout the host tree. The bacteria cause a disruption to the trees watering ability by clogging vital watering channels. Leaf scorching causes severe damage to the host tree, making it unsafe and causing eventual death. Red Tips, Fruit trees, Red Oaks and Red Buds seem to be most often affected, but it can be seen in many other species as well.
Ball moss grows on plants. It adds extra weight to tree canopies, however, and can be unusually heavy when wet. Since most high winds are accompanied by rain, large amounts of ball moss can contribute to a catastrophic break on major tree limbs. Although removing any one ball moss tuft is easy, when the task is multiplied by the hundreds, it can be extremely time-consuming work.
This fungal disease primarily affects the longleaf pine and is caused by Scirrhia acicola. When young seedlings are infected with this fungus, they often end up dying. However, when seedlings are in their later stages, they can overcome the disease as the tree grows.
The leading cause is the abundance of limestone found in the soils. Limestone has a highly alkaline effect on the ground soils, and this makes it hard for certain species of trees to absorb Iron, Magnesium, and Zinc. The telltale signs are a yellowing or bleached look on what should otherwise be a vibrant green leaf. If seen in only the beginning stages, the leaves may look veiny or blotched.
This is one of the most destructive diseases facing pine trees in the southern United States. Known as one of the most destructive tree diseases throughout the southeast, fusiform rust is a stem disease that’s caused by a fungus called Cronartium quercuum. Native pine trees are especially susceptible to this disease, with the slash pine and loblolly sustaining some of the most severe damage.
Many trees and shrubs in Florida can be infected with this disease. Caused when the pathogen known as Ganoderma lucidum gets inside the tree through damaged roots or a tear, Ganoderma aggressively attacks the root system and often causes death to the tree.
This deadly fungal disease primarily affects the avocado tree, redbay, swamp bay, along with other trees in the Laurel family. Laurel wilt is caused by Raffaelea lauricola, which is introduced by the redbay ambrosia beetle.
The beginning signs are canopy loss at the tree’s extremities. It may be sudden loss or gradual over several seasons. Many folks first notice there is a less dense shade under their oak tree then there previously had been as the tree loses more and more of its upper canopy. Without almost immediate treatment, most oaks afflicted with this disease are doomed. The most effective control of Oak Wilt is preventative measures, of course.
This is undoubtedly the hardest one to diagnose, but is so commonly the cause of tree decline it had to make this list. The history of the last decade or so of the tree is usually where an arborist will first inquire if faced with a tree that shows signs of distress, but no signs of disease or nutrient deficiencies.
Planthopper feeds on a tree’s sap. If the tree is diseased, this plant hopper becomes the carrier of the disease. The process is called Lethal Bronzing and is a relatively new bacterial disease called a phytoplasma that is causing significant palm losses in Florida. Read all about it here.
If you have the opportunity, do preventive landscaping with a quality tree service company. Here are some tips for tree root damage prevention:
If you have problems with tree roots, schedule a complimentary consultation with Forever Green Landscape and Tree Service?
Emergency Tree Removal Services
Forever Green Landscaping & Tree Service provides emergency tree removal services in St. Petersburg and throughout Tampa Bay.
If you have any problems with your palm trees in Tampa Bay, work with an experienced tree service to diagnose the issue, and either treat the disease or remove the palm tree to avoid transferring the disease to other trees on your property.
If you need a quality tree service to trim and prune your trees, give us a call today at 727-525-7433 to schedule your complimentary estimate.
Forever Green Landscape and Tree Service is a full-service tree company located in St. Petersburg, Florida, that has been serving Tampa Bay since 1978. If you are looking for tree care services – from removing dead or diseased trees, trimming overgrown or hazardous trees and delicately pruning valuable fruit trees, and stump grinding – you can count on our reasonable rates and quality workmanship. Contact us today at 727-525-7433 to schedule your complimentary estimate.