7 Common Massachusetts Tree Diseases

Like any other living organism, trees succumb to disease from time to time. While some diseases merely affect appearance, others can reduce productivity or even kill the tree. If you have any concerns about a diseased tree, look no further than Top Notch Tree for help.

As Rockland’s reliable tree assessment experts, we have certified arborists ready to diagnose the issue and recommend the best course of action. In this post, we’ll discuss the most common Massachusetts tree diseases.

1. Cedar Apple Rust

Cedar apple rust is a common fungal disease characterized by reddish or orange spots on the upper leaf surface. Despite the disease’s apparent appearance, cedar apple rust actually proves more or less harmless. Infected plants rarely experience adverse effects, often thriving for years after developing symptoms.

2. Black Spot—Rose

Black spot represents the most impactful disease on roses in Massachusetts and globally. While it rarely kills plants and can be treated, it can appear all year round and seriously weaken your roses.

Symptoms usually start as dark or purple blotches on the leaf’s upper surface. These blotches may turn yellow at the edges before the leaf eventually falls off. Young stems may also exhibit dark blisters.

3. Leaf Spot—Rhododendron

Throughout the year, fungal spots of various colors may appear on rhododendron leaves. Most infections only affect the plant’s aesthetic value. However, severe infections may result in early leaf drop, compromising the plant’s overall health.

4. Apple Scab

Apple scab refers to a fungal disease that infects crabapples, apples, pears, and other Massachusetts tree species. The disease typically exhibits symptoms such as dark lesions or spots in the leaves, fruits, or blossoms of the affected trees.

5. Fire Blight

Fire blight, a bacterial plant disease, affects fruit trees such as crabapples, apples, and pears. The disease typically presents itself as a watery liquid that oozes from holes in the bark. Infected leaves and flowers wilt and darken while remaining attached to the tree.

Fire blight can also destroy branches or the entire plant.

6. Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew can affect various types of trees and plants. The disease exhibits as a white coating or spots that resemble talcum powder on leaf surfaces. Powdery mildews worsen in warm, dry weather, with succulent tissue more susceptible to infection.

The fungus overwinters in the leaves and moves to host plants after spring by wind, rain, or insects.

7. Dutch Elm Disease

Observed in Massachusetts for centuries and spread by beetles, Dutch elm disease is a deadly disease that has felled some of the region’s most majestic elms. Symptoms include wilting and yellowing of leaves and premature leaf drop. The disease may also lead to dead trees.

Trust Your Local Tree Experts

If you need professional arborist and tree care services, trust your local experts at Top Notch Tree. Our comprehensive tree care solutions include:

  • Certified arborist services
  • Tree assessment
  • Tree removal
  • Emergency tree services

Contact us at 97810 871-8008 to learn more about the most common Massachusetts tree diseases or request a professional tree risk assessment. We look forward to helping you maintain healthy trees.

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