Common Tree Diseases in NJ

Checking for Tree Disease

There are many tree diseases that can take over your yard in as little as one season. Early detection is the most important part of dealing with issues that arise with your plants but there are preventative measures that can be taken to alleviate the unnecessary spread of fungi, bacteria and other pests. Identifying a specific tree disease can be difficult but unless the proper ailment is recognized treatment will be impossible.

Some of the most common tree diseases found in the New Jersey area may be germinating in your backyard…find out now before it has a chance to take away your property’s valuable assets.


Tree Disease AnthracnoseThis disease takes the form of a variety of related fungi on leaves and twigs of various types of shade trees such as the Sycamore, Ash, Oak, Maple and Dogwood.

Early detection of Anthracnose can allow for removal of the disease.

If the tree is overtaken by the fungi it will need to be completely removed from your property before the disease is able to spread to other plants.



What to Look for

Dead spots on leaves, irregular leaf growth and a loss of foliage earlier than should be expected are all signs that your tree is suffering from Anthracnose.

Prevention and Removal

This disease thrives in damp a location which means that if air is able to move through your trees with ease they will be less likely to contract Anthracnose in your yard. Always utilize best practices for planting trees on your landscape. Visit our blog to learn more about proper tree spacing to allow for air circulation.


Seiridium Cranker

This fungal disease affects Leyland Cypress, Arborvitae, Juniper and many more. Seiridium Cranker is usually brought on by stress from the weather such as a drought. This fungus attacks the vascular system of the tree and spreads quickly which can be devastating to trees that are planted in a row or cluster as a greenscreen for privacy.

What to Look for

Obvious dead brown branches and foliage will appear throughout different areas of the tree. The branch or possibly truck of the tree may also show a swollen area called a cranker that oozes sap and allows more fungi to enter your tree.

Prevention and Removal

Pruning away infected areas and removing the contaminated branches and leaves from the tree and surrounding area are key to keeping this disease from spreading. Fertilizing and watering your tree regularly will aid in keeping this fungal disease away from your trees all together.


Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash BorerThe only insect on our list, the Emerald Ash Borer is a beetle whose larval stage disrupts the Ash tree’s ability to carry water and nutrients throughout its system.

The Emerald Ash Borer has been the culprit in ruining many trees throughout the Northern NJ area in the last few years.

It is projected to continue to be a problem because of the beetle’s invasive nature.



What to Look for

Typically if your tree has Borer beetles you will see a premature yellowing of its leaves in the summer and a loss of foliage earlier than expected. This disease can be more difficult to detect than others but an Arborist can look inside the tree trunk for burrowed holes that the beetle creates.

Prevention and Removal

There is very little that can be done to prevent this common tree disease. Emerald Ash Borer has had devastating effects on the many Ash trees in our area. Once a tree contracts this disease it must be removed; there aren’t any spray or trunk injections that have proven to fix this problem.


Needle Cast

Needlecast Tree DiseaseThis fungus attaches itself to spruce trees but it has a strong preference for Blue Spruce trees in particular.

Needle Cast will take time, possibly multiple seasons, to completely take hold of a tree but once the first signs of the disease begin to show on your tree it will become a large eye sore on your property.

It’s very important to take action quickly once the first signs are noticed.



What to Look for

Signs of Needle Cast will begin in the Fall season and typically starts at the bottom of the tree with the presence of brown or purplish needles. The fullness of your tree will also decrease, especially near the bottom, and your tree even has potential to lose all of its needles.

Prevention and Removal

Remove dead and dying branches from your tree. Continue to fertilize the tree’s soil and mulch around the tree to provide moisture and hold in nutrients.


Armillaria Root Rot

Signs of Root RotThis is a fungus that attacks old and rotten Oak and Maple tree stumps and dead roots.

It can easily spread to other nearby trees and plants because it is able to penetrate through a tree’s root system.

Drought enhances this disease and will heighten the pace of its ability to spread.

What to Look for

Mushrooms growing at the base of your tree’s trunk or beneath its canopy are a major sign that your tree has a Root Rot fungal disease.

Prevention and Removal

Water your trees regularly to ensure that drought is unable to take hold of your trees. Consider treating your soil with good fungus spores such a Trichoderma which will eat away at the bad fungi. Removal of a rotten tree stump is the best possible solution to preventing this disease to spread. To find out more about stump removal and grinding visit our blog

Identifying the type of disease your tree has can be difficult and finding the proper treatment usually means coordinating the right balance of a variety of techniques. Call us today to find out how we can help you save the beauty of your landscape.

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