Insects and disease problems can threaten tree health. It is important to identify specific symptoms of damage within your landscape and understand their causes.  Only after accurate diagnosis can you determine the most beneficial or appropriate tree options.

Stress of plant material is most often influenced by water, light, nutrients and air circulation.  Too much or too little of any of those can weaken a plant allowing that plant to become more susceptible to attack from insects and disease.

Being proactive and following proper ‘plant health care’ practices will go a long way in the effort to prevent insect and disease problems.  Trees in the urban landscape are faced with many more stress factors than those growing in a natural landscape. It is important to monitor the landscape and be on the lookout for symptoms of stress.  An accurate analysis of symptoms is necessary to determine the correct course of action to correct a problem.  That is where we can help.

Diagnosing a Problem

When diagnosing a problem in trees and landscape plantings a Trillium Tree Experts arborist will typically identify the plant then look for patterns of abnormality.  Often times it is necessary to compare that plant to others within the surrounding landscape.  This may even include plantings on an adjacent property.  History of the landscape or specific plantings can help in diagnosis.  It is important to note the position and appearance of effected foliage.  For example, dead leaves at the top of a tree or in the extremities often indicate environmental stress or root damage.  Another example, twisted or curled leaves can suggest viral infection or insect feeding.

Many varieties of insects can cause injury and damage to trees and shrubs.  Some are defoliators, some are sap suckers and some are borers.  These examples all cause different types of damage.  Often times that damage is a secondary concern or may be the symptom of a greater problem.  There are only 3 conditions required for a disease to develop:

  • presence of a pathogen
  • plant susceptibility to that pathogen
  • environment suitable for disease development

If you see any signs of insect or disease or suspect a problem within a your landscape contact Trillium Tree Experts, our representatives can help to identify the problem and offer solution.

Emerald ash borer

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive species of insect that has found its way to Ottawa.  It is a small beetle that has done an incredible amount of damage to our urban forest in a relatively short time span.  The beetle only attacks ash trees and is not selective in terms of a trees size or vigour.  Approximately 30% of Ottawa’s natural forest canopies are ash. Until recently landscape architects, designers and urban foresters commonly planted ash due to that trees ability to adapt to local climates and soil structure.  Now with the introduction of EAB all ash trees are at risk and our landscape is going to change.

If you have ash trees on your proprety, see our Emerald Ash page for symptoms, signs and treatments.