Environmental factors like heat, drought, strong winds, wildfire, animal damage, soil compaction, and construction damage make trees in Lubbock more vulnerable to diseases. Often, the most effective way to keep tree diseases at bay is to ensure the trees are always healthy.
Live oak, one of the most common trees in Lubbock, is particularly susceptible to a number of infections. In this post, therefore, we look at some of the pests and diseases affecting the live oak Lubbock homeowners should be on the lookout for. Read on!
3 Pests And Diseases Of Live Oak Lubbock Gardeners Should Know About
Although live oaks normally possess the ability to endure adverse environmental conditions, some pests and diseases have been found to pose problems in Lubbock, Texas. Here are the most common Lubbock tree diseases doing a number on live oaks.
1. Oak Wilt
Oak wilt is one of the deadliest tree diseases in Texas and has killed hundreds of live oaks in Lubbock and across West Texas. While it affects all oak varieties, live oaks and red oaks are the most commonly hit. The disease progresses very quickly and could kill a tree in less than a month.
When it attacks, the leaves of the infected tree turn pale green and then yellow a week later. As the disease advances, the leaves turn brown and remain attached to the tree for weeks. Most live oaks will die within two months to two years after the initial infection symptoms.
Oak wilt is spread by sap-feeding beetles. These beetles feed on spore mats produced by a live oak that has succumbed to the disease. With their bodies now covered with spores, they fly off looking for another tree to feed on.
If the tree happens to be a live oak with an existing wound from pruning, storms, bush clearing operations, etc. it may get the disease. Once oak wilt has infected one live oak, it can spread and kill all the adjacent live oaks.
Oak wilt has no cure but can be prevented by keeping the trees healthy. Have a professional tree trimming Lubbock service do all your trimming and pruning operations to avoid unnecessary tree injuries. You should also spray your oaks regularly with pesticides to keep them free of pests.
2. Bacterial Leaf Scorch
Another ailment that has been targeting the live oak Lubbock tree lovers should not ignore is the bacteria leaf scorch. This one causes the margins of the leaves to burn and is most prevalent in early summer due to the stress caused by temperature changes.
Bacterial leaf scorch is vectored (transmitted) by leafhoppers, spittlebugs, and other insects that feed on the fluid transported via the tree’s xylem (water-conducting system). The bacteria breed in the xylem and clogs it, preventing the transportation of water to the leaves.
The leaves start to die and slowly by slowly, the branches begin to die too, then eventually the entire tree dies. The infected tree will have a brown band around the edges of the leaves.
The symptoms of bacterial leaf scorch are sometimes confused with those of oak wilt in live oaks. The only difference is that with bacterial leaf scorch, the tree will not die as quickly as with oak wilt. An infected tree can take up to 5 years to exhibit symptoms and up to 10 years to die.
As with oak wilt, there is no treatment for bacterial leaf scorch. Just keep your trees healthy by giving them constant care. Seek help from any professional tree service Texas company if you suspect your tree is sick.
3. Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew affects all species of oaks, but some are more susceptible to severe damage than others. It is among the top Lubbock tree diseases landscapers have battled for years, but unlike oak wilt and bacterial leaf scorch, this one won’t kill your live oak. Instead, it will cause the foliage to wither and yellow, and if it is severe enough, your tree will experience stunted growth.
The infection is first visible as faint, pale green-yellow spots both on the upper and on the lower leaf surface. If immediate action is not taken, the disease will progress, causing premature defoliation. In most cases, however, the leaves stay attached to the tree until normal leaf shed.
Powdery mildew is a fungal infection and is mostly spread in the spring and summer by the wind. The fungal spores settle on a few leaves of a healthy tree, and then eventually multiply and infect the entire foliage. To keep powdery mildew under control, apply fungicides regularly and rake and discard all fallen leaves.
The Local Tree Experts Overview
When it comes to diseases of the live oak Lubbock property owners need to stay informed of what to do to keep their trees in good shape, as it’s the only way to prevent these diseases. Apply pesticides and fungicides regularly to keep pests and fungi at bay. And have a certified tree expert check your tree if you suspect something is wrong.