Plant Health Care

How to Detect Tree Diseases & Pests Before They Become an Issue


Mar 22, 2023


Tree diseases and pests can be difficult to detect – but catching them early on can make all the difference in protecting your landscape from serious damage.


Trees are valuable assets that beautify our environment, provide shade, and help maintain the ecological balance. However, just like humans, trees can be affected by diseases and pests that can significantly impact their health and appearance. Identifying tree diseases and pests early on can help prevent further damage and save the affected tree.


With this helpful guide, you’ll learn how to identify tree diseases and pests quickly and efficiently.


Look for Signs of Stress or Damage

Start by looking for signs of stress or damage, such as yellowing or browning leaves, cracked bark, and sparse foliage. These signs can indicate a number of issues, from drought stress to pest infestation. Oftentimes, affected trees will display visible pests or egg sacs.


Additionally, it’s important to note any changes in the tree’s shape or form – if a tall and sturdy tree suddenly bends or droops over an extended period of time, it could be due to root rot.


Strobert Tree Services has a long-standing reputation for superior customer service, and are proud to be considered the best in tree care. Our same-day response time is unrivaled — our standards exceed industry standards so your trees receive the highest level of attention and respect. We’re dedicated to providing outstanding services for all types of projects, from residential tree care to commercial property maintenance. Our professional ISA-certified arborists will partner with you to create the most effective plan on behalf of your trees’ health that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sound.


Early detection is key when it comes to protecting your landscaping from costly tree diseases and pests!


Investigate Potential Sources of the Problem


Once you have spotted the symptoms of a tree disease or pest infestation, it’s time to investigate where the damage originated from.


Consider how your tree has been planted, if it is receiving proper sunlight, water and nutrients and what changes in weather may have occurred recently. In some cases, the source of an issue might be traced back to a nearby dying tree that could be spreading diseases or pests.


Understanding what is causing the problem will help you determine the steps to take in order to keep your trees healthy and safe from further damage.


Seek Professional Assistance if Necessary


If you are struggling to identify the source of a tree disease or do not feel confident managing an issue on your own, contact a certified arborist right away.


Strobert Tree Services is a local and family owned business, with certified arborists who specialize in tree pruning, removal and planting. Our attention to details, commitment to safety, and quality workmanship has made us an industry leader in Wilmington, DE as well as other areas of NJ, PA, and MD. We also offer Plant Health Care services that are tailored specifically to meet the needs of your property.


We have the experience to evaluate and diagnose tree issues, as well provide treatments and preventive measures needed to ensure a healthy landscape.


Use Treatment Methods to Address Issues

To address the symptoms of tree diseases and pests, it’s important to use treatments that best suit the issue at hand.


Often, this will include physical removal or insecticidal sprays but procedures may vary according to the severity of the infestation or particular species being targeted.


Always observe proper safety precautions when treating trees with any kind of chemical or device, and seek professional help when necessary.


Tree Diseases


Tree diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms that infect trees.

Here are some common tree illnesses and how to recognize them:


Dutch Elm Disease – Dutch Elm Disease is a fungal disease that affects Elm trees. It spreads via bark beetles and can eventually result in tree death. Signs of Dutch Elm Disease include yellowing of leaves, wilting, and twig dieback.


Oak Wilt – Oak Wilt is a fungal disease that wreaks havoc on Oak trees, spreading by beetles and potentially leading to tree death. Signs of Oak Wilt include leaf discoloration, wilting, and branch dieback.


Apple Scab – Apple Scab is a fungal disease that attacks apple trees. It causes leaf and fruit drop, as well as reduces fruit quality. Signs of Apple Scab include circular, brown lesions on leaves and fruit.


Pine Wilt Disease – Pine Wilt Disease is caused by a nematode that infects Pine trees, ultimately leading to tree death. Signs of Pine Wilt Disease include wilting, yellowing needles and branch dieback.


Tree Pests – Tree pests are insects and other organisms that can harm trees. Here are some common tree pests and how to identify them:


Emerald Ash Borer – Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle that feeds on ash trees, potentially leading to tree death. Signs of infestation include D-shaped exit holes in the bark, S-shaped tunnels beneath it and thinning of the canopy.


Gypsy Moth – Gypsy Moth is a caterpillar that feeds on the leaves of various tree species. It can defoliate entire trees and weaken them severely. Signs of infestation include stripped leaves, egg masses on tree trunks, and caterpillars crawling up the trunks.


Japanese Beetle – Japanese Beetle is an invasive beetle that feeds on leaves of many tree species, defoliating entire trees and weakening them. Signs of infestation include skeletonized leaves, beetles on them, and grubs in soil.


Pine Bark Beetle – The Pine Bark Beetle is a small beetle that feeds on the inner bark of Pine trees, leading to tree death. Signs that there may be an infestation include reddish-brown pitch tubes on the bark, yellowing needles, and sawdust around the base of the tree.


How to Spot Tree Diseases and Pests on Trees


Is your tree sick or pestilent? Contact Strobert Tree Services today!


We also offer Plant Health Care services that are tailored specifically to meet the needs of your property.


  • ISA-Certified Arborists
  • Professional Crew & Equipment
  • Free Estimates
  • 24/7 Emergency Service
  • Stump Grinding & Removal
  • Tree Pruning & Removal

Early identification of tree diseases and pests is essential for avoiding further damage. Here are some tips for quickly spotting these problems:


Watch for Symptoms


Be on the lookout for signs such as wilting, yellowing, leaf discoloration, twig dieback and branch dieback that could indicate the presence of a disease or pest. These symptoms could indicate an infestation with bacteria or insects.


Check the Bark and Trunk


Inspect the bark and trunk for signs of damage, such as cracks, holes, or tunnels. These can be caused by pests like beetles and borers.


Look For Insects
Keep an eye out for insects on the leaves and trunk of a tree. Some pests, such as caterpillars and beetles, may appear on both.


Monitor Tree Health on a Regular Basis.


Regularly inspecting and monitoring your trees is the best way to detect problem signs early before they become a major issue.


Examine foliage for spots, holes, discolorations or changes that may indicate disease or insect attack. Inspect bark for sunken areas, ingrained cracks and cankers.


Look for evidence of wood damage from boring insects or fungus.


Also check the base of the trunk for girdling roots that could be restricting nutrients to reach the foliage as well as for visible signs of any abnormal growths such as clusters of fallen leaves or tight clumps of needles near the ground.


Contact Strobert Tree Service


Strobert Tree Services has been providing quality tree care and arbor services in Wilmington, Delaware since 2000. We focus on delivering the highest quality of service while keeping safety a top priority. Our certified arborists are fully insured and bonded to cover every job to the best of our abilities. We specialize in all aspects of quality tree care ranging from pruning, removal, planting, spraying, diagnostics and more. Whether residential or commercial we bring our professionalism and expertise directly to your property.


Call today 302-742-1172 or visit us at 1806 Zebley Road Wilmington DE, 19810.


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