Diseases that affect trees and plants in the Chicago area are classified in three ways: fungal, bacterial, and abiotic.
Fungal infections can be spread by wind and rain carrying the spore and infecting other plants. Other pests, root grafting, and tree trimming are other ways fungal infections can spread. Treatment may include fungicide spray and injections. Some diseases are simply aesthetic and do not harm the tree while others are untreatable. Our ISA Certified Arborists can diagnose and prescribe treatments to get your tree and shrub’s health back on track. Most common fungal diseases include: Apple Scab (Apples and Crabapples), Diplodia Tip Blight (Pines), Dothistroma Needle Blight (Austrian Pines), and Rhizosphaera Needle Cast (Spruce).
Bacterial diseases are spread in similar ways as fungal infections. They can also occur due to climate, or birds and squirrels can spread it from plant to plant. Most bacterial issues are treated with injections. Bacterial diseases are less common and tend to be in an outbreak variety, much like a situation of the perfect storm of contributing factors causing them to spread rapidly. The most common bacterial diseases are Fireblight (Rose family- Ornamental Pears, Crabapples), Bacterial Leaf Scorch (can affect anything), and bacterial cankers (can affect anything).
Abiotic diseases are common and sporadic. They are simply a result of man or environment. Since they are not generally planted in their natural environment, many things contribute to abiotic diseases such as poor soils, poor pruning, poor location, not planted properly, location too close to a structure, weather, climate, etc. Though some are untreatable, many treatment options are available including injections, soil treatments, and air excavation. Chlorosis is a very common abiotic disease. Birches, maples, and oaks become deficient of iron and/or manganese. Examples of other abiotic diseases: Winter dessication, salt damage, girdling roots, mechanical damage.