Diagnosing plant problems requires a combination of experience, knowledge, and keen observation. Most often it is not simply a case of just identifying an insect or disease. Trees that die or decline usually are suffering from a combination of stress factors, and insects or diseases are often secondary, attacking the weakened tree. Arriving at a diagnosis is only the first step taken by the arborists at ArborNature. The important second step is taking appropriate actions to remedy the problem.
At any given time, there may be several species of insects present on a tree, although only a few, if any, may be harmful. However, almost every species of tree has at least one insect pest that can cause problems. Most insect damage to trees is the result of either feeding or egg-laying activity. Some insects will feed on a variety of host plants, while others are specific to certain hosts. Insects have complex life cycles; one stage may cause problems, while the next does not. Knowledge of the pests’ life cycles is an important aspect of our identification and treatment of insect problems. The arborists at ArborNature are trained to identify both harmful and beneficial insects, and know the extent of damage the plant can tolerate before any control is necessary.
The vast majority of plant diseases are caused by fungi. However, that does not mean that most fungi cause disease. Only a small percentage of fungi cause disease in plants. Many are beneficial. Most trees are susceptible to infection by at least one disease-causing fungus. Symptoms of fungal diseases vary; some cause leaves to have a dry texture, some form concentric rings, and others produce fruiting organisms that can be used in identification.
Besides fungi, there are many other disease-causing organisms or pathogens. Plant tissues infected with bacteria frequently appear water soaked and may have a foul odor. Other diseases such as ringspot and yellowing and some stunt diseases are caused by viruses and phytoplasmas.
Accurate diagnosis is essential to developing an effective treatment program to eliminate existing disease problems and prevent future outbreaks. At ArborNature, our arborists are educated in the science of plant disease prevention and control to ensure an accurate identification and treatment of disease problems.
Below are some of the most common insects and diseases damaging trees in South Carolina:
• Southern Pine Beetles
• Ambrosia Beetles
• Bacterial Leaf Scorch
Often trees do not show signs of illness that the nonprofessional can recognize until it is too late. If you suspect that a harmful insect or disease is infecting one of your trees, please contact us online or call ArborNature today to schedule a complimentary tree care consultation with one of ArborNature's certified arborists.