Common Threats to Tree Health

Category Archive: Pests

Common Threats to Tree Health

Threats to Tree HealthBeautiful green trees can make or break the landscape, but it is important to keep in mind that trees are living organisms, and they need proper care and maintenance or they will become a hazard to themselves and others. When therefore assessing whether or not to have a tree installed or removed on your property, there are many factors of which to be aware. You should specifically look out for these common threats to tree health that can ruin your arboreal experience.

As you are sure to discover, while trees can mostly take care of themselves in nature, the ones we find on the side of our streets or in our backyards might not be so lucky.

Urban Threats to Trees

Trees you find in crowded suburbs and cities do not have the same luxuries as their mighty forest counterparts, and as a result, there are a number of urban threats to tree health. These include the following.

  • Air Pollution: Although air quality throughout the United States is very good, depending on where you live, your trees still might not be getting the best air. This has a fundamentally negative impact on the tree health.
  • Construction Damage: Heavy construction around trees can sometimes result in some disastrous consequences. Soil compaction, as well as de-icing salts in specific areas, can further impact trees.
  • Landscaping Damage: Over time, landscaping efforts can chip away at general tree health. This includes the use of lawn mowers and weed whips in and around trees.
  • Vandalism: Some individuals, unfortunately, take it upon themselves to ruin trees. This is a sad fact that cannot be discounted.

How Tree Health Affects Pest Control

When trees are afflicted by problems like the ones above, they will often change at a physiological level to better cope with the stress. In a lot of cases, the now weakened tree will actually become more predisposed to pest invasion, which could lead to some very negative consequences for the surrounding area, including your home.

How to Protect Against Threats

There are some very simple steps you could take to better protect your trees from external stressors. Start by regularly mulching your trees. This will help the tree to hold moisture while also adding organic matter to the soil. By pruning and trimming your tree as well, you can help shield it from potential street damage or otherwise keep it out of the way of avoidable physical contact.

Contact Yellow Ribbon Tree Experts to Learn More

If you have a prominent tree on your property, you have many options to consider as regards its maintenance. You might even decide to remove it. The choice is entirely up to you, but in either case, it would help to have professional tree specialists on hand to guide you through the process.

With years of experience in tree removal and tree maintenance, the team at Yellow Ribbon Tree Experts would love to be the ones to handle your tree services. So for more information on what the Yellow Ribbon Tree Experts could do for you or to learn about additional upkeep tips, contact one of our representatives today.

The Southern Pine Beetle

The southern pine beetle is one of the most destructive pests of pines in the southern United States, Mexico, and Central America. This insect killed approximately 4.5 million board feet of pine timber from 1973 through 1977 in the southern United States. The beetle occurs from Pennsylvania to Texas and from New Mexico and Arizona to Honduras. It attacks and can kill all species of pines, but prefers loblolly, shortleaf, Virginia, pond, and pitch pines.

2162006[1]The adults bore directly through the outer bark into the living bark. At each point of attack, the tree usually exudes resin which forms a small pitch tube about the size of a small piece of popped popcorn. Adult beetles construct winding, S-shaped galleries, which cut across one another and girdle the tree. Blue-stain fungi in the sapwood, introduced by the beetles, hasten the death of the tree. The first indication of tree mortality is discoloration of the foliage. Needles become yellowish, change to a red color, and-finally turn brown. Trees may be killed singly or in groups, ranging from a few trees to several hundred acres.

0745081[1]Natural enemies, such as diseases, parasites, predators and weather, help maintain beetle populations at low levels and bring cyclic outbreaks under control. Integrated pest management may be achieved through any one or all of the following suppression techniques: rapid salvage and utilization of infested trees, piling and burning of infested materials, chemical control in high value resources, and cut-and-leave (May through October).

Source: Insects and Diseases of Trees in the South. 1989. USDA Forest Service – Forest Health Protection. R8-PR16. 98 pp. Taken from

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