4 Common Tree Diseases in Virginia to Watch Out For Today

Tree diseases in Virginia cause the loss of hundreds of beautiful specimens yearly. It’s unfortunate because many infected trees can make a full recovery with the help of a reliable Alexandria, VA, tree service company like G&V. 

Why bring in professionals? 

Maintaining healthy trees is part science, part art, and a good deal of hard work. Thanks to the number of species in Virginia alone, it’s difficult for even the most well-meaning enthusiast to keep up with everything that might go wrong. Throw in common diseases with similar symptoms, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster. 

The key to breaking the cycle is early detection. Knowing the early warning signs or noting anomalies allows you to ask for assistance before it’s too late. Call G&V to schedule a professional evaluation if you want to stop an infection in its tracks. 

Common Tree Diseases in Virginia

Beech Bark Disease (BBD)

BBD is one of the tree diseases in Virginia that keeps on giving. It consists of two organisms working in unison to bore into the bark. Beech scale insects scar the bark, leaving it vulnerable to infestation by fungus, which killls the tree.

It is easy to miss the entry point of the beetle, but the insect itself is pretty obvious to the observer. It sports a coating made from light wax and congregates with others of its type. Insecticide can help kill the beetles, but the fungus requires professional treatment.

Discula Anthracnose

Fungal diseases like this are devastating because they’ll attack many different types of trees. Signs include spots ranging in color from a light tan to a dark brown on the leaves, many with red or purple rings around them. While this disease is incurable, yearly fungicide treatments can keep a tree alive.  

Dutch Elm Disease

This disease also results from a fungus taking advantage of an insect. Elm Bark beetles bore holes into the bark, allowing the fungus to infect the heartwood. You’ll see the leaves turn yellow before wilting and dying. Left untreated, the tree follows suit.  

Oak Wilt

Despite the name, oak wilt can spread to chestnuts and beeches through insects carrying fungal spores. The spores find their homes in wounds in the bark or are drawn up by the roots. The results can prove fatal as the fungus spreads throughout the tree’s vascular system. 

Symptoms may manifest in the crown, with leaves becoming pale before turning yellow or bronze and dropping prematurely. 

A speedy response is the only way to potentially save the specimen and prevent the spread of the fungus. 

Powdery Mildew Disease

This disease resembles the intricate patterning of lichen, but it is far from a welcome sight for gardeners. This is yet another fungus that spreads quickly and can wreak havoc if left unaddressed. 

If you see blotches of a white powdery residue on the leaves of a tree, you should use a fungal treatment immediately. Mildew can spread easily and be difficult to eradicate once it gains a firm foothold. Thankfully, this disease is relatively easy to prevent.

You can head this disease off by improving air circulation to the crown and ensuring the leaves get plenty of sunlight. Ensure proper feeding and maintaining tree health to safeguard the following susceptible species: 

  • Linden
  • Crabapple
  • Chokeberry
  • Catalpa

Do You Want to Give Your Trees a Clean Bill of Health? 

Now that you understand more about the primary tree diseases in Virginia, you will no doubt keep a careful watch. The team at G&V is here to help you shore up your garden’s defenses or treat an existing infection. 

Contact G&V at 703-569-2570 to schedule your evaluation and learn more tips for protecting young trees.