Texas is known for its deciduous and evergreen trees. You will find pecans. Mesquites, American smoke trees, Texas ashes, persimmons, Mexican Buckeyes, desert willows, escarpment black cherries, cedar elms, bald cypresses, Texas mountain laurels, maples, Mexican plums and different type of oaks including the massive escarpment live oaks and the Texas red oaks. These trees are valued for different reasons among them the shades they provide. To enjoy the benefits, these trees need to be taken care of, and one crucial thing is preventing and treating diseases and pest problems. It is therefore important to know the major diseases that affect trees in central Texas. Here are some of the popular tree diseases.
The Texas Oak Wilt
This is one of the most devastating live and Texas red oak trees diseases. It is an infectious disease caused by a fungus that spreads through infected wood, interconnected root systems, and insects. This fungus destroys the water supply pathways of affected trees. With lack of proper water circulation, a tree can die within a span of a few months after the first symptoms showing. The initial signs are usually visible in the leaves which will mostly start discoloring. The disease is characterized by symptoms such as “veins” that change from yellow to brown in live oak leaves. Red oaks will have young leaves that are pale green or brown in spring. Recognizing these symptoms is crucial to saving the tree and preventing the spread of the infection. Therefore, look out for these signs and take appropriate measures when you notice them.
Funguses are very common pathogens causing diseases in central Texas trees. Aside from the oak wilt, they also cause the Hypoxylon Canker. This tree disease affects elms, oaks, pecans, and sycamores among other types of trees. It preys on already stressed trees especially the oaks struggling with environmental changes. It manifests in oaks as a tan or light brown colored dusty patch underneath a very thin bark that flakes off. This patch later becomes silvery-gray and hard to the touch. It causes the wood to become brittle, dry and dangerous. It won’t affect healthy trees, but when stressed, it will finish them off. While there’s no effective way of managing it, ensuring that a tree remains healthy will help keep the Hypoxylon Canker from killing it.
Bacterial Leaf Scorch
Bacteria are the second most common pathogens in central Texas causing bacterial leaf scorch among other tree diseases. Like the oak wilt, bacterial leaf scorch, which is spread mainly by insects, affects the supply of water to the leaves. It causes stress, defoliation, and death of branches but also makes the tree vulnerable to other diseases. It affects oaks, elms, sycamores, and other trees and causes leaves to develop a yellow band separating green parts and scorched tips of the leaves. Ensuring the health of trees through mulching and adequate water supply during drought helps suppress infections. Infected trees will also need to be removed.
There are a lot of other diseases caused by fungus and bacteria. These diseases can cause devastating damage to the trees in central Texas. Therefore, everyone with trees on their property should know the common diseases, understand what the tree species looks like normally, and be on the lookout for symptoms of the disease.