Ontario has a large and diverse population of trees that adds a wealth of beauty and character. Unfortunately, there are pests in the form of insects and disease that can harm these natural wonders. It’s vital that you are aware of the common dangers, symptoms, and signs of distress if you want to keep your trees healthy. Here at Five Star Tree Services, we care about your plant’s health. Our arborist has put together a list of common pets found in the Greater Toronto Area.
This fungal infection is most often found in the middle of summer or early fall. The infection can be diagnosed by the pale spots that form on the leaves of the tree early in the season. These spots will darken as the season progresses. Tar spot is most often found on Sycamore and Maple trees. Though the fungus is unsightly, it doesn’t cause any lasting harm to the tree.
The black knot fungus is most often found in the genus Prunus species of tree. They appear in the form on a knotty black growth along the tree branches. It is unsightly and, if left untreated, can cause death to the tree. The most effective way to treat this fungus is to prune the affected areas. Cutting tools must be disinfected following each cut to prevent re-infecting the tree.
Emerald Ash Borer
This beetle originates from Asia and is a purely invasive pest. It caused the death of millions of Ash trees since their migration in 2001. Once a tree has become infested, death is unavoidable. Some injectable treatments have a slight effect, but aside from that, there isn’t much that is effective other than tree removal.
Beech Bark Disease
This disease comprises of a mix of beech scale and canker fungus. It is spread by animals, harsh winds, and infected wood being moved into an uninfected grove. Beech scale causes open wounds on the tree which are then infected by the canker fungus. The trees become weak and can be dangerous. Look out for yellow wilting foliage, white fuzzy fungus on the branches, and unseasonal crown thinning. There is no cure and the tree should be uprooted, removed, and burned to prevent the spread of the disease.
Caterpillars may be fun to look at, but these are hazardous to trees in the Rose family. Prior to morphing into a moth, these critters will set up “tents” made of silk in the branches. They will defoliate a tree in mass by eating the leaves. Though the leaves will grow back, it can cause acute stress for the tree. There are traps and bacteria that can be used to prevent an infestation.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
These insects consume the tissue at the base of the needles of a Hemlock tree. They can spread via the wind, animals, or with infected wood. The infestation can be diagnosed by noting needle loss, bud dieback, and white hairy sacks at the base of the twigs. They can cause the tree to die in as early as 5 years and late as 15 years. There are little to no measures available to control these pests in Canada currently.
How We Can Help
If you think your trees are infected by one or more of these common pests give the arborists here at Five Star Tree Services a call. We are standing by at (416) 990-3355 to help and look forward to hearing about any of your tree service questions or needs!