Common Tree Diseases in Michigan

common tree diseases in michigan

Tree and shrub healthcare is vital to ensuring that these valuable assets on your property remain healthy and vibrant throughout the growing season. However, there may be times when the health of your trees are compromised by an affliction that if left untreated, could lead to not only your trees dying, but possibly spreading that infection onto the other plants.

Below is a short list of the more common tree and shrub diseases found here in Michigan. If you feel that your trees and shrubs may be exhibiting signs of one or more of the issues, one of our Certified Arborists can come out and properly diagnose as well as provide you with a custom treatment plan to regain the health of your trees and shrubs.

  1. Anthracnose – a common leaf disease caused by fungi and often found on trees and shrubs in cool and/or moist environments. Infected trees and shrubs develop dark, water soaked spots on the stems, leaves and/or fruit and is often misdiagnosed as oak wilt.
  2. Apple Scab – a serious disease of apples and ornamental crabapples, apple scab affects both the leaves and the fruit. A fungal disease, it forms a pale yellow or olive-green spots on the top of the leaves. Darker spots may show up on the lower parts of the plant and the more infected your trees become, the leaves become twisted and may start falling in early summer.
  3. Black Knot – another known fungus disease that mainly affects plum and cherry trees, though it can infect other fruit trees, such as apricots and peaches. This disease is fairly easy to diagnose because of the obvious black gall found on the stems and branches of the trees. It appears rough and bumpy, and often is wrapped around the branch completely, and can be as short as an inch to almost 12 inches in length.
  4. Leaf Spot – used to describe a variety of plant diseases, most leaf spots are caused by a fungal infection, but there are some that are caused by bacterial infection. Visually, leaf spots are typically brown, but depending on the advanced nature of the fungus, the spots could also be tan or black. Leaves infected with leaf spot will yellow and eventually drop prematurely, leading to potential issues with spreading the infection to your other trees and shrubs in the area if not treated properly.
  5. Rust – common rust is another fungal disease that attacks not only your plants but also your lawn. It is more often found on mature plants, primarily on the leaves, but can also be found sometimes on steams, flowers and even fruit. Signs that you may have rust are yellow or white spots showing up on the upper leaves of a plant and/or reddish to orange pustules-like swellings on the underside of the leaves. This disease is easily spread through the spores via wind, rain or any contact to the infected leaves that can release the infected spores into the air and travel to surrounding plants.

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