Tree Diseases, though common in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City area, often go undiagnosed. First and foremost, treating homes year after year for termites, fleas and ticks, and cockroaches, we hunt down where they come from. Moving from tree to tree insects and other general pests carry bacteria and fungi that can cause some of the more common diseases in trees found in the yards of homeowners across the state.
Tree Diseases – Pests – Fungus
The Pine tree species in eastern Oklahoma is a part of the largest population in the southeast United States. Stretching from New York to Florida, then west to Texas and Oklahoma. According to the US Forestry Department these shortleaf pines have decreased in population by 50% since 1980.
Oklahoma is home to several different species of pine trees. According to Plant Native
Oklahoma’s Tree Diseases & Grass Fungus Problems
In general, there are many things causing tree diseases and grasses to die besides just disease or pests. Lack of water through drought, and excessive heat both play a factor in the health of vegetation in Oklahoma. These common stress systems make trees more susceptible to disease and infestation.
6 Mistakes in Tree Care That Cause Tree Diseases
First, we have one side of the coin where people don’t prune their trees properly or enough, or they prune way too much. Pruning and trimming trees is an important part of caring for a tree, but too much or too little could make it too weak to survive a fungus or pest infestation. Removing dead branches helps a tree survive and also takes away a food source for pests.
Second, pruning too much by “topping” your trees to prevent problems with power lines or space can stress the tree. This stress can kill the tree and expose it even more to disease, decay, damage from the heat, and insects.
Third, too much mulch at the base of a tree can trap in excessive moisture causing root rot. The extra moisture also increases the likelihood of disease and fungal infection. Root rot if left untreated will eventually lead to the tree dying.
Staking Newly Planted Trees
Fourth, newly planted trees that need a little help standing up usually end up with a stake or two tied to the base of the tree. Unfortunately, this may stop the ability of the tree to move and sway when first growing. This movement helps it develop stronger roots and trunks. Some have suggested placing the stakes away from the tree and using a small rope or string with slack in it to allow for movement. The idea is to leave it room to sway but not fall over completely. If you do have stakes it is best to remove them no later than 6 months after planting.
Fifth, overwatering or underwatering your tree can have devastating effects. Too much water leads to excessive moisture which we mentioned above causing root rot. Not enough water can lead to dead branches as the tree cuts off feeding and watering branches it doesn’t feel it can support any longer.
Identifying Tree Diseases
Last but not least, ignoring the signs of distress and the health of the tree. Like humans, trees can overcome and recover from disease and pest infestation. But if left unchecked either of those problems can become widespread making it more difficult for the tree to survive.
What We Treat
The Deodar Weevil
The Deodar Weevil also called the eastern pine weevil, infests Atlas and a variety of Pines. Adult weevils and larvae destroy the terminal and lateral branches. The damage causes canker fungus on branches which makes the tree highly susceptible to infections. Identifying any pest is crucial to the success of treatments and efforts for saving a tree.
Deodar weevils are small oval beetle in shape and range from brown to black in color and have a distinctive snout. The top rear of the beetle has two distinctive white spots which help to identify them.
Tip Blight – this happens mostly when cedars are growing in stressful conditions, drought-heavy shad, or the tree is competing with other trees close to it.
These tree diseases are common in Blue Atlas Cedars during humid or wet weather. Tip Blight can stunt new growth and needles to be brown. It is not easy to control in older trees. The spores can spread easily on wet branches.
Spider Mites prey on a variety of conifers but prefer the Spruce over all of them. They are most destructive during cool early Spring and Fall. More importantly, they eat the foliage and make tiny webs to lay their eggs.
Once spider mites start feeding on the spruce the needles will change colors and have a bronze or rust color once affected. They eat the foliage and make tiny webs for their eggs.
These tiny insects are difficult to see with the naked eye. Initially, spider mite damage appears as brown or yellow spots on the leaves of the tree or plant. They are most destructive during cool early Spring and Fall.
Pine Wilt Disease
Pine wilt disease affects many pines in Oklahoma, mainly in residential areas. This deadly disease can kill a tree in a very short amount of time. The Austrian pine which is one of the recommended pines to plan in Oklahoma is high on the list for susceptibility to pine wilt.
Ordinarily, it is trees that are older that develop pine wilt. Symptoms can start appearing from July through December. Spreading rapidly symptoms can show just a few browning to within weeks the entire tree is infected.
Important to know, pine wilt is found most often in non-native species to Oklahoma. You can learn more here: OSU Extension office.
Not What You Expected to Find in a Pest Control Company?
Generally speaking, many pest control companies do not treat tree diseases or lawns. This industry leaned more toward home pest sprays and termite prevention. For the most part, many of the same treatment sprays we use for general pests are similar in makeup for other insects and spiders living around your home and yard.
Identifying Pests or Tree Diseases
We may sound like a broken record when mentioning identifying the insect, disease, or fungus because it’s true. We must know our enemy’s weaknesses before going into battle. This is one of the main reasons hiring a professional team of pest control specialists to inspect and treat your home is important. Many home remedies may not work for more than a few weeks or months, and/or they are not as safe as you think they might be.
Consolidating Pest Control Treatments
Deodar Weevils, blight, and spider mites are all common to Oklahoma tree and plant problems. Since beginning this business it has become more apparent to us because we are outside your home in close proximity to your trees and gardens. It was only natural to learn as much about these pests and diseases as possible to offer a more all-around service to our customers. Being able to have one company take care of not only internal pests and wood damaging pests for the home but also the trees made perfect sense.
Bobbi Ray’s Termite & Pest Control Services
To emphasize, Bobbi Ray’s Termite & Pest Control is not a landscaping or fertilizing company. We deal with pest control and rodent control the majority of the time. Because of our experience in the treatment of termites, ticks, fleas, cockroaches, and other insects, we found that some end up in outdoor gardens and trees. As we have said before, just treating the problem will not keep them from coming back, we find the source and the entry points and try to remove their access as well as treat the problem.