Most Frequent Tree Diseases a Certified Arborist Can Help Identify and Treat

Posted on August 3rd, 2023.

Trees are an invaluable part of our environment, providing us with shade, oxygen, and a connection to nature. However, just like any living organism, trees are susceptible to various diseases. These tree diseases can be caused by fungi, bacteria, or other pathogens, and if left untreated, they can lead to severe consequences, including tree death. As a responsible tree owner, it is crucial to be aware of the most common tree diseases and understand how a certified arborist can help identify and treat them.

In this blog post, we will explore the key tree diseases that can affect your trees and the importance of seeking professional assistance from a certified arborist.

Understanding Tree Diseases and Their Impact

Tree diseases encompass a wide range of health issues that can afflict trees of all types and sizes. Among the most prevalent tree diseases are those caused by tree fungus. Fungal infections often take root in weak or injured trees, and they can spread rapidly under favorable conditions, posing a significant threat to the tree's health. As a tree owner, it's vital to recognize the signs of tree diseases to ensure timely intervention and preserve the tree's well-being.

Tree fungus treatment is one of the essential services offered by certified arborists. These professionals have the expertise to diagnose tree diseases accurately and provide appropriate treatments to stop the spread and promote recovery. Timely intervention can not only save your tree but also prevent the disease from spreading to other healthy trees in the vicinity.

Identifying Tree Diseases Through Leaf Damage

One of the primary indicators of a potential tree disease is leaf damage. Leaves are like windows into the health of a tree, and certain patterns of damage can give valuable insights into the underlying issue. Different tree diseases manifest in distinct ways, and a certified arborist can effectively analyze leaf damage to determine the type of infection.

Some tree diseases may cause wilting or browning of leaves, while others might lead to the appearance of spots, lesions, or unusual growths. By closely inspecting the leaves, a certified arborist can narrow down the potential causes and recommend targeted treatments. For more information on signs of diseases or infections, check out our article.

Common Tree Diseases and Their Symptoms

1. Dutch Elm Disease

Dutch Elm Disease is a devastating fungal infection that primarily affects elm trees. It is spread through elm bark beetles, and once infected, the tree's vascular system is obstructed, leading to wilting and eventual death of branches. Early signs include yellowing and wilting leaves, often starting at the tree's crown.

2. Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt is a lethal disease that targets oak trees, and it spreads through root grafts or sap-feeding beetles. Infected oaks experience leaf discoloration, starting from the margins and moving inwards. The disease can lead to rapid defoliation and death of the tree within a few weeks.

3. Fire Blight

Fire Blight is a bacterial infection that affects a variety of trees, including apple, pear, and other members of the Rosaceae family. Infected trees exhibit wilting, blackened shoots that resemble they were scorched by fire, hence the name. The bacteria can spread rapidly during warm and moist conditions.

4. Pine Wilt Disease

Pine Wilt Disease is a destructive infection that targets various pine tree species. Caused by the nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, this disease is primarily transmitted through pine sawyer beetles. Once inside the tree, the nematodes block the water-conducting vessels, leading to wilting and death of the tree. Infected pine trees often display browning and wilting needles, starting from the top branches and progressing downwards. Quick action is essential to prevent the spread of this disease to other healthy pines in the area.

5. Anthracnose

Anthracnose is a group of fungal diseases that affect a wide range of trees, including maples, oaks, sycamores, and dogwoods. Warm and wet weather conditions facilitate the spread of these diseases. Symptoms include irregularly shaped lesions on leaves, causing them to curl, wilt, and drop prematurely. While anthracnose rarely causes tree death, it can weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to other infections. A certified arborist can help manage anthracnose through proper pruning and fungicidal treatments.

6. Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease that affects a broad spectrum of trees, including maples, elms, and magnolias. The fungus enters the tree through its roots and disrupts the water-conducting vessels, leading to wilting and yellowing of leaves. Infected trees may exhibit symptoms on one side of the canopy initially, eventually affecting the entire tree as the disease progresses. A certified arborist can diagnose Verticillium Wilt and recommend appropriate management strategies to extend the tree's lifespan.

The Importance of a Certified Arborist

When you suspect your trees might be suffering from a disease, consulting a certified arborist is essential. These professionals have the necessary knowledge and experience to accurately diagnose tree diseases and implement effective treatments. Attempting to handle tree diseases on your own can often worsen the situation or lead to misdiagnosis, which may harm your trees irreparably.

A tree disease may not always be visibly apparent, and a certified arborist can conduct thorough evaluations, considering the tree's overall health and environmental factors. They can also identify potential risk factors and offer preventive measures to protect your trees from future infections.

The Right Time for Tree Disease Treatment

Fungus on trees and other tree diseases require prompt and appropriate treatment for the best chances of recovery. When you notice signs of ailing trees or suspect a disease, don't delay in reaching out to a certified arborist. Early intervention can significantly increase the likelihood of saving the tree and preventing the spread of the disease to other nearby trees.

Professional tree disease treatment involves various methods, including targeted fungicides, pruning affected branches, and promoting overall tree health through proper nutrition and care. A certified arborist can tailor the treatment plan according to the specific needs of your trees and the severity of the infection.


As a tree owner, being proactive in identifying and treating tree diseases is crucial for maintaining a vibrant and healthy landscape. The expertise of a certified arborist from Collins Tree Service Inc can make a significant difference in preserving your trees and preventing disease spread. If you suspect any tree diseases, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team.

At Collins Tree Service Inc, we specialize in a wide range of tree care services. If you have any concerns about tree diseases or wish to schedule a consultation with one of our certified arborists, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 603-235-7626 or email us at [email protected]. Your trees deserve the best care, and we are here to provide the expertise and dedication they need. Let us help you protect and cherish the trees that bring so much life to our environment.


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