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Common Tree Illnesses in New England

Common Tree Illnesses in New England

New England, including southern Maine and New Hampshire, is known for its lush forests and diverse tree species. However, like any living organism, trees are susceptible to various illnesses that can affect their health and vitality. In this blog post, we will explore some of the common tree illnesses found in New England, their causes, treatment, and prevention.

  1. Dutch Elm Disease: The American Elm is one of our region’s largest and most graceful trees. Unfortunately, its numbers have been severely reduced by Dutch Elm Disease. Dutch Elm Disease (DED) is a fungal infection that affects American and European elm trees. It is caused by the fungus Ophiostoma ulmi or Ophiostoma novo-ulmi and is primarily spread by bark beetles. The disease clogs the tree’s vascular system, leading to wilt, yellowing leaves, and eventual death. To manage DED, infected trees must be promptly removed and destroyed to prevent the spread of the fungus.

Regular pruning and maintaining tree health through proper nutrition and watering can also help prevent getting infected by DED.

  1. Apple Scab: Apple Scab, caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis, is a common disease that affects apple trees in New England. It results in dark, scaly lesions on leaves, fruit, and twigs. Infected leaves may drop prematurely, reducing the tree’s ability to produce energy through photosynthesis.

To control Apple Scab, a combination of cultural practices and fungicide applications is recommended. This includes proper sanitation by removing fallen leaves and fruit, planting resistant varieties, and applying fungicides at appropriate times during the growing season.

  1. Needle Cast Diseases: There are several needle-cast diseases that affect coniferous trees, such as pines, spruces, and firs, in New England. These diseases are caused by fungi that infect and kill the needles, leading to discoloration and premature needle drop. Two common needle cast diseases are Rhizosphaera needle cast and Dothistroma needle blight. Effective management involves promoting tree vigor through proper watering and fertilization, as well as regular pruning to improve air circulation. In severe cases, fungicides may be necessary.
  2. Oak Wilt: Oak Wilt is a serious vascular disease caused by the fungus Bretziella fagacearum that affects oak trees. It spreads through interconnected root systems and via sap-feeding beetles. Symptoms include wilting, leaf discoloration, and defoliation. Infected trees can die within a few weeks to a few years.

Preventive measures include avoiding pruning during the growing season when beetles are active, promptly removing and destroying infected trees, and creating physical barriers to prevent root grafting between trees.

  1. Brown Rot: Brown Rot is a fungal disease that affects various fruit trees, including cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots. It causes fruit to rot, shrivel, and develop brown, fuzzy growth. Infected fruits can spread the disease to healthy ones.

Managing Brown Rot involves maintaining good tree hygiene by removing and destroying infected fruit, providing proper tree nutrition, and using appropriate fungicides as a preventive measure.

Call Boulay Landscaping

Maintaining the health of trees in southern Maine and New Hampshire requires vigilance against these common tree illnesses. Boulay offers all the necessary services to protect and prevent tree illnesses including proper pruning, fertilizing, watering, and overall care to provide optimal growing conditions. With Boulay Landscaping you can ensure the longevity and vitality of our beloved trees in our beautiful area of New England. We also offer tree removal if a diseased tree needs to be removed and destroyed.

Boulay Landscaping has built a solid reputation of service and professionalism serving the good folks of southern Maine and neighboring New Hampshire. We offer full gardening and lawn services as well as, Tree ServicesIrrigationHardscapingSpring and Fall CleanupSnow plowing and Ice control, and Firewood Sales. Boulay Landscaping will make sure that your yard looks good throughout the season! Contact us at (207) 251-6230 and learn how Boulay can care for your trees and all your landscaping needs.


PO BOX 1314 Wells, Maine 04090


(207) 251-6230


(207) 216-2983

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