To a Wisconsin homeowner, good tree health is extremely important. The trees in our yard provide shade and increase the quality of the air we breathe. Although Wisconsin is home to many species of hardy trees that thrive for many decades with minimal concern, there are several common afflictions that can shorten the life of a tree. American Landscape is your best Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls area tree care and arboreal services provider, and we have the experience and insight to help you identify common tree diseases in the early stages, and the skills in diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.
The most common disease affecting foliage of woody ornamentals in Wisconsin, Anthracnose means “ulcer-like sore.” Caused by several species of fungi, the disease manifests as twig cankers on some hosts, and is more serious on plants whose twigs are susceptible. Symptoms of Anthracnose includes spots and dead areas on leaves, varying in size, shape, and color. The dead leaf tissue often follows the leaf veins, helping to diagnose the disease more easily. Leaves frequently curl and may fall off, and while some trees, such as sycamore, may refoliate, others, such as oak, retain the unsightly leaves throughout the season. Ash, maple, oak, sycamore, and walnut are especially susceptible to Anthracnose.
Cylindrosporium, Phyllosticta, and Septoria Leaf Spots
These three distinct fungi result in symptoms which often overlap. Round spots, sometimes with small black fruiting structures embedded in them, can be found on the leaves of affected trees, as well as yellowing and loss of leaves. Although tree species vary in their susceptibility to these diseases, a wide variety of trees may become infected with one of these three conditions.
Downy Spot (White Mold)
This disease manifests as large, angular lesions appearing in mid-spring, and then later turning brown and dry. A white, powdery coating appears on the underside of the leaf, distinguishing this condition from Anthracnose.
Entomosporium Leaf Blight
Also known as Fabraea leaf spot, this leaf blight results in reddish-brown spots, somewhat irregular in shape, and generally less than an eighth of an inch wide. The spots may coalesce and can result in leaf loss.
Check back for our next post, in which we’ll cover some of the other tree diseases common in Wisconsin, and how to identify them.
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