Florida tree diseases + fungi can equal potential dangers

By: McCullough Tree Service| On: March 25, 2019

Just like humans, Central Florida trees show signs when they are unwell. Where we may sniffle or run a fever, trees can drop leaves, get root parasites or develop stem cankers, depending on what’s wrong.

This doesn’t always mean the tree can’t be saved, but for many reasons — for tree health, for your safety and the protection of your property — it pays to have a sick tree checked out. Tree diseases, left untreated, will eventually weaken the tree’s structural integrity. In Florida, with our active hurricane season, it’s imperative that potentially weakened tree trunks or limbs are inspected by an expert.

There are two general categories of tree disease: non-living, or abiotic; and living, or biotic, also known as a pathogen, like fungus. Knowing which category is causing your tree’s maladies is helpful in strategizing remedial action (and determining its chances of survival).

Individual assessment
Different types of trees show signs of sickness in different ways, depending on the source of the problem. A conifer, or pine tree, might drop needles and show needle rust, for example. A conifer stem disease, meanwhile, can result in pitch canker (signs of distress where limbs meet the trunk) or fusiform rust, a rust-colored growth on a tree’s trunk or limbs. There are also conifer root diseases caused by a fungus.

Insects like tussock moths prefer oaks, and will eat the leaves and build webs, causing oaks to be unhealthy and die if untreated.

Other signs — depending on the tree species and location of the symptom — can include heart rots, where the tree decays from the inside of the trunk and out; hispidus cankers: longish, narrow areas of decay on the outside of a tree trunk; nematodes, which are parasitic worms that attach to tree roots underground; or root diseases like Sand Pine Root Disease, which can include more than one kind of pathogen (and is the most serious sand pine disease in Florida, according to the Florida Forest Service).

Reduce risk
McCullough Tree Service comes out to inspect trees often for our valued clients. We educate home and business owners on their options if there is a diseased tree on their property. These options can range from sprays to injections to trimming to removal, depending on what’s wrong.

Weakened trees are not something we need in Florida, which is in a hurricane zone. Call McCullough Tree Service today and get an expert opinion.