The emerald ash borer has been present in Ontario for approximately 20 years. It kills ash trees from the inside out by boring holes into their trunks and consuming the tissue inside. Due to the speed of its spawning and its rampant spread throughout North America, it has garnered a lot of attention.
However, the emerald ash borer is only one pest that can affect trees’ health in Ontario. There are a number of other insects, as well as fungal infections, that can cause damage to many different species of trees. As a property owner, it is important for you to watch for signs of infection and infestation. If you observe such symptoms, you should contact a professional tree service for information about how to respond. In some cases, it may be possible to save the tree from dying.
There are many insect species that can infest trees and have a negative impact on their health. Sometimes, it is the full-grown insect that causes damage, sometimes it is the larvae, and sometimes, as in the case of the emerald ash borer, both the adult insects and larvae can harm the tree.
An aphid-like insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid affects coniferous trees. It is a problem in Canada because there are few control measures available. Infested trees should be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, but first, you should have a trained professional identify it to be sure. Sacs of white woolly material appearing in the spring at the base of needles and twigs are a telltale symptom. Additional signs of infestation include thinning at the crown, loss of needles, and twig dieback.
While hemlock woolly adelgid affects conifers, tent caterpillars consume the leaves of deciduous trees, most often apple and cherry. An infested tree can become completely defoliated, and the tree can suffer undue stress due to the energy it takes to grow new ones. Tent caterpillars get their name from the structures that they weave from silk around tree branches when they nest there. These tent-like structures can cause an unsightly nuisance, but tent caterpillar infestations generally will not kill the tree.
Wet weather encourages the growth of fungi on trees, some of which can be extremely detrimental. Dutch elm disease is a well-known and widespread fungus that can prove fatal to an infected tree in a very short time. While Siberian elms are resistant to the fungus, all native elm species are susceptible. The early symptoms are shriveled, brown, wilted, and curled leaves.
Anthracnose is another fungal infection that affects the leaves and has the potential to defoliate the tree. Unlike Dutch elm disease, it is unlikely to prove fatal. However, like tent caterpillar infestation, it can put stress on the tree due to the necessity of producing new leaves. It is important to clean up fallen plant matter caused by anthracnose infestation because the disease can survive on the dead leaves. It is also important to avoid watering to deprive the fungus of the moisture it needs to survive.
The distinctive black growths on the branches of infected trees give the black knot fungus its name. In addition to being unsightly, it can eventually prove fatal. It is possible to manage the infection by pruning the affected branches, but this must be handled carefully or the very act of pruning could spread the fungus. Pruning is best performed when the tree is dormant, and it is necessary to disinfect the blade after every cut.
Full Professional Tree Services
Whether you have issues with the emerald ash borer or some other parasite, Martin’s Tree Service Inc. can help you save the tree if possible or remove it if necessary.