We may think of microorganisms to only attack living beings like humans and animals. However, trees are also susceptible to microorganisms and it can make them sick, just like how humans succumb to them. For instance, a common problem trees face is fungi. Fungi are actually everywhere. They are even present in the air that we breathe but there are instances when fungi can make you sick. Fungal diseases on man include candidiasis, ringworms or other pathogenic fungal infections.
Fungi actually play a beneficial role in many ecosystems and help the life cycle of various plant species. However, like any other relationships in the planet, some can be symbiotic while others are parasitic. The latter are dangerous to any plant or trees as they live at the expense of their host plant. Most of the time, these harmful fungi attacks already diseased or dying plants but they may at times attack healthy ones too especially if these trees are just nearby.
Fungal diseases kill by clogging the vascular system of the plant, so you will see dieback in the leaves on one side of the plant initially. Citrus trees require good drainage, good aeration (pruning out excessive branches and leaves), regular watering, and fertilizing. Citrus trees like acidic pH soil.
Due to our severe drought for the past several years, this may have stressed out the tree to a point that the fungal disease became a secondary problem since the tree became weakened. Healthy trees are able to wall off fungal diseases to prevent the fungus from entering into the vascular system.
Fungi infections on trees are often characterized by slowed growth, dead branches, and smaller leaves or discoloration. Even the removal of a diseased tree is not an assurance that it will likewise eliminate the fungi in the soil. As soon as you see the first signs of fungi growth, promptly cut off the affected part to protect people from accidents caused by falling dead branches, for instance.
If it wasn’t bad enough that the emerald ash borer is devastating the local population of ash trees and the woolly adelgids are after our hemlock trees, a deadly fungus that has the potential to destroy countless Oak trees is also creeping into the region.
State foresters discovered oak wilt in two trees in Canandaigua, Ontario County last October and issued an emergency order then in hopes of keeping the infection confined.
And, late last month, the state Department of Environmental Conservation established an Oak Wilt Protective Zone in the Town of Canandaigua. People are prohibited from removing any living, dead, standing, cut or fallen oak trees as well as oak branches, logs, stumps or roots from the zone unless it has been chipped into pieces that are smaller than one inch in two dimensions. Removing any species of firewood from the zone is also prohibited, as it is difficult to distinguish oak from other types of wood when it is cut into small pieces. Non-oak wood leaving the protected zone must be at least 29 inches in length or greater.
Communities seldom feel the impact of fungi on trees especially when these affect trees that are out in the woods. However, for those that are grown for a purpose, having trees succumb to fungal infections has a big impact on revenue and the loss of a valuable resource. There are various types of fungi present in the environment that can make trees sick. When trees get sick, they don’t immediately die but they suffer for a while and yields are reduced. It’s especially painful if fruit-bearing trees are affected since they are generally grown for a living.
For trees that are already infected, consider: http://www.allcleartree.com/stump-removal to make sure that the tree’s trunk is removed as well so that other nearby trees does not get infected. We hate cutting down trees but when the condition can no longer be salvaged, it’s better to lose one than to put other trees at risk as well. Let the pros handle this task since there are more to cutting down trees than meets the eye.