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Common Tree Problems in St. Louis, MO

There are many things that can impact the health of your trees. Problems such as tree diseases, pests, and environmental stress are serious issues that can cause damage and spread quickly. The best way to help keep your trees happy and healthy is to be aware of the potential problems your trees could face so that you can catch and treat them early.

Tree problems can oftentimes be difficult to notice with the untrained eye and even more difficult to diagnose. However, the knowledgeable arborists at Omni Tree Service can evaluate your trees properly, determine the issue, and implement effective insect and disease treatment. Below, learn more about some of the most common tree problems you might experience.


CALL FOR A FREE ESTIMATE:    636-391-9944  |  415 Old State Road |  Ellisville, Missouri 63021 |  Fax: 636-391-9948

Tree Diseases

The most serious and prevalent disease problems in the St. Louis area include:

Dutch Elm Disease: Dutch Elm Disease is a fungal disease that only affects elm trees. It blocks the water transport system, causing the branches to rapidly wilt and die. If left untreated, the devastating damage can result in the death of your elm.

Anthracnose: Anthracnose is a fungal disease that can spread very quickly during rainy seasons. Symptoms vary but will typically cause rapid yellowing, browning, and then death of leaves, twigs, branches, and other plant tissue.

Oak Galls: Oak Galls are abnormal plant growth that occurs due to the interaction between normal plant hormones and the powerful growth-regulating chemicals produced by gall makers. For oaks, the most common gall makers are two types of non-stinging wasps, but galls may also develop as a response to infections by several kinds of fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

Fire Blight: Fire Blight is a bacterial disease that affects certain trees and shrubs in the rose family. It gets its name from the fire-scorched appearance it creates after causing leaves to wilt and darken while still attached.

Accurate identification and individual case assessment are needed to determine an appropriate treatment for these tree diseases.

Tree Pests

Some of the common insects that infest trees in our area include:

Mites: Mites pose a serious threat to a wide variety of plants, and can seriously impact the visual appearance of a plant. Mites favor warm, dry climates, and are an extremely serious issue for many homeowners. In our area mites are commonly found on burning bush and dwarf Alberta spruce.

Emerald Ash Borer: Emerald Ash Borers (EAB) are small, metallic green beetles that have devastated ash trees throughout North America since they were introduced around 2002. One of the ways to identify if your ash tree is infected is by looking for the D-shaped holes that EAB leave in the trunk.

Bagworms: Bagworms are a type of moth that feeds on trees. You may find bagworms among many types of deciduous and coniferous trees, but they most frequently feed on juniper, cedar, arborvitae, and spruce trees. Bagworms construct cocoon “bags” that can grow up to two inches long. The large cocoons are made with parts of the tree and silk and each can contain as many as 1,000 eggs.

Scale Insects: These insects target primarily hardwoods and conifers. Some signs of an infestation include abnormal leaf and shoot growth, yellow or red leaves, and branch gouting.

Leaf Eating Insects: Infestations of damaging leaf-eating insects are cyclic — every few years a particular insect may emerge in numbers great enough to defoliate trees and shrubs to an extent serious enough to damage the health of the plant. Insects to watch for in the St. Louis area include Japanese beetles, aphids, tent caterpillars, and cankerworms.

Tree Stress

Other stressful problems that can harm your trees include:

Drought: Drought conditions have persisted in the St. Louis area for the last several growing seasons. Regular, properly applied supplemental watering is needed to ensure the survival and optimal health of your landscape plants.

Winter Injury: Even during mild winters, evergreens can lose moisture and not be able to replenish it. Thus, make sure your evergreens have sufficient soil moisture.

Decline: Tree decline is a term that describes the decline in health over time and the ultimate death of a tree due to the accumulated effects of age, environmental stress, insect damage, and disease. Proper cultural practices, such as watering, mulching, and deep-root fertilization can reduce the damaging effects of tree decline.

Tree Care Tips

To avoid malnutrition, be sure to give your trees an adequate amount of micronutrients, such as magnesium sulfate, limestone, gypsum, iron, and zinc. However, trees need very limited amounts of these compounds, and an overabundance can be harmful. Have a certified arborist advise you on the correct amounts of each you should provide.

Frost damage can be prevented if your tree’s leaves stay hydrated during a period of severe cold. Additionally, frequent watering and fertilization in anticipation of a cold night can also “harden” the cells of certain plants.

Borer insects are very hard to anticipate or eliminate. They are attracted to unhealthy trees, burrowing in and laying eggs inside the trunk, thus the best defense against borers is to keep your trees healthy and unstressed so they can bounce back if they do develop an infestation.

Overwatering or poor drainage can cause root rot in your trees. Fungicides or manganese treatments can be effective as treatments or preventative measures.

Work with a qualified tree expert to help maintain your trees. The experienced team at Omni Tree Service has the knowledge to improve the look and health of your trees and we will stop at nothing to provide you with the customer service and high-quality tree care you expect.

Certified Arborists for Tree Problems

We offer a variety of tree services to combat the most common tree diseases, pests, and other problems. For help year-round with tree problems in the St. Louis area, contact Omni Tree Service today at 636-391-9944 for a free estimate!

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