Trees contribute many wonderful things to our surroundings. They have environmental benefits and their vibrant colours are pleasing to the eye. Just like pets, trees need care and attention. Trees are vulnerable to various threats, including fungi and insects that can cause sickness. Without proper care and nourishment, infected Canadian trees can die before we notice they need help.
Here are a few common tree threats in Canada:
1. Tent caterpillars. Found throughout Canada, tent caterpillars travel in large groups and can defoliate trees in a short amount of time. These insects may not “kill” your tree, but they do damage to its aesthetic appeal and the immune system.
2. Butternut canker. This disease is caused by the fungus Ophiognomonia clavigignenti-juglandacearum. A characteristic feature of this disease is when a tree “leaks” a blackish fluid. As the disease progresses, multiple cankers form on branches and roots. The fungus causing the disease can be passed from tree to tree. Infected trees need branch pruning and canker removal to stop spread of the disease.
3. Tar spot. This is not permanent damage but can make your tree look unattractive. It is caused by the fungus Rhytisma acerinum. Tar spots become noticeable on trees when their leaves start growing. An effective way to tackle this problem is by raking and cutting affected leaves to stop the tar spot from spreading.
4. Beech Bark disease. This particular disease was recently encountered in southwestern Ontario. It is caused by a species of Nectria fungi and beech bark scale and poses serious damage to infected beech trees. A tree already suffering from scale infestation is more vulnerable to this disease. Affected trees might have slime oozing from dead bark and discoloured scales.
Learning about these diseases can help you properly care for trees. Trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape or garden. For a wide variety of healthy trees and tree advice, contact Caledon Treeland at (905) 880-1828.