A frequently asked question we get from the people of Adams County, Colorado, is, “What is wrong with my tree?” Many people are surprised to learn that trees also get sick – just like all living things do. A lot of factors contribute to the deteriorating health of trees in Colorado. However, many of the tree health problems we have encountered at Thornton Towers Tree Service have resulted from diseases.

Here are several common tree diseases that afflict trees in Colorado.

Root Collar Rot

Root collar rot is a disease common to honey locust trees. You can save the tree if the symptoms of the disease are spotted early and treated. Otherwise, it can kill the tree rapidly and spread to the rest of your yard, which can be a huge disaster. An arborist will expose the tree’s base and gently scrape the infected area to treat this root disease. Another solution is to soak the roots in fungicide.

You can tell a tree has Root Collar Rot when part of it has developed premature fall coloration. There will also be bark and wood discoloration at the ground line and small gumdrops along the stem.

Black Stain Root Disease

Black Stain Root Disease (BSRD) commonly attacks western conifers, which are native to Colorado. It is caused by a fungus that prevents water from reaching the tree’s foliage, causing it to die slowly. Your tree health specialists will use the same methods used on Root Collar Rot to get rid of BSRD since they’re both root diseases.

What signs should you look for that your tree has BSRD? If it is a pine tree, the pine needles will start to yellow, and some of them will drop prematurely. The tree trunk will have traces of resin, and the area near the roots will have black or dark stains. If you see the tree’s foliage has started to decline, the tree is beginning to die.

Dwarf Mistletoe

Dwarf mistletoe is a plant that takes over the tree and gradually kills it by robbing it of nutrients and water. It usually targets ponderosa pine and lodgepole pines, but it’s also fond of pinyon pine and Douglas-fir. 

One of the biggest signs of Dwarf Mistletoe is when the infected area develops brown-yellowish shoots. You’ll also notice that the bark on the infected regions is starting to swell.

A common way to treat Dwarf Mistletoe is to spray it with a growth-regulating chemical. The spray causes the shoots and flowers of the mistletoe to dry out and eventually fall off.

Armillaria Root Rot Disease

The disease is caused by the Armillaria fungus, which infects many deciduous and evergreen trees around Colorado. The fungus can survive for years in deadwood and infect other trees (if their roots get too close).

Sometimes, the tree might not show signs of infection, but the symptoms of Armillaria Root Rot aren’t hard to spot when it does. You’ll notice yellow-brown foliage on deciduous trees, needles will turn brown on evergreens, and a thin crown might develop on the top of pine trees. Furthermore, there might be flat, white shoots of fungal growth between the tree bark and base. And the wood around the infected area can also become soft and stringy.

As a solution, an arborist might suggest the removal of the infected areas. They might also recommend the use of well-drained soil.

Fire Blight

Bacteria, which can be brought about by insects, rain and unclean pruning tools, is the culprit behind Fire Blight. Once a tree is infected, its branches start to die off. Branches are essential to a tree’s longevity since they’re responsible for transporting nutrients to the leaves. Furthermore, they hold up the leaves to the sun, which fosters photosynthesis. 

Of course, the biggest symptom you have to look for, indicating that you have a Fire Blight problem, is dead branches. Other things will die too as a result, such as leaves, blossoms, twigs and fruit. Another major symptom is the appearance of a light tan-reddish substance oozing out of the infected part of the tree. You might also notice a brown-black withering in the tree’s foliage. Cankers can also form on the branches.

So when a tree is suffering from Fire Blight, it is essential to call a professional arborist to treat it immediately. Part of the treatment includes pruning the infected parts of the tree. These are usually the branches and twigs. 

Trust us; this is not a disease you want spreading to the rest of your yard.

Let Thornton Towers Tree Service Help With Sick Trees

Quick action could save your tree. If you realize any signs that your tree could have a disease, contact Thornton Towers Tree Service immediately. Our professional arborists will assess the tree’s health and determine the proper treatment. If the disease has caused widespread damage and we cannot treat the tree, we’ll take it down efficiently and safely.

On top of Thornton, we also serve Broomfield, Federal Heights, Northglenn and Westminster. If you’re in Adams County, give us a call, and we’ll see if one of our professional arborists can assist with your tree situation.

PS: The best way to prevent diseases is to have them regularly checked by a tree service. And this is something we’d be more than happy to do!