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Typical Tree Problems in Atlanta

Declining Anchoring Roots – Drought Damage

One of the major problems for Atlanta Trees is Drought Damage. Drought causes trees anchoring roots to stop spreading and growing out from the tree. A tree stressed from drought will focus its energy on growing foliage to produce nutrients and the roots will begin to decline. When heavy rainfall occurs and soil is saturated, otherwise healthy trees with declining roots run the risk of falling in strong winds. The damaged roots will no longer be strong enough to anchor the tree in the oversaturated ground causing the tree to lose stability. If your trees are suffering from drought damage be sure to follow all instructions on water conservation, but call a Certified Arborist to keep your trees stable and safe.

Construction Damage

During construction, trees can be damaged both above and below the soil level. Wounds created by breaking branches, tearing bark, and wounding the trunk are commonly caused by heavy machinery operating around the tree. Digging, grading, and trenching can damage the root system of the tree, which can extend horizontally up to 3 times the height of the tree. Heavy construction equipment and storing materials on the root zone can compact soil and inhibit root growth, limit water penetration, and decrease oxygen needed for survival. To prevent damage to your trees during construction lay out guidelines with your contractors and erect barriers around critical trees. Make sure all materials are stored away from trees to prevent run-off into the soil and limit the amount of equipment driven over roots of trees. If construction damage does occur, call a Certified Arborist to assess your trees and recommend a maintenance plan.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew is prevalent in warm, moist climates. Over watering can put your trees at risk for Powdery Mildew, although its growth is possible without the presence of moisture. It is most common on fruit trees. It can be seen in the form of a white to gray powdery mycelium growing on fresh leaves, buds, and fruit. Powdery Mildew can stunt growth in ornamental and fruit trees causing the aesthetic value to decrease. It is a wind borne pathogen and can spread from tree to tree. The best course of action is prevention with proper care, fertilization, and irrigation, an arborist can asses your trees and recommend proper practices. The treatment for Powdery Mildew is a fungicide that can be applied by a Certified Arborist.

Fungus and Leaf Spots

One of the first symptoms of fungus and leaf spots is blight, which causes the leaves and shoots to brown and shrivel. On the top of the leaf, lesions will form along the leaf veins. The underside of the infected leaf may show tiny brown fruiting bodies. Your leaves may drop prematurely and branch cankers and twig dieback can occur in colder seasons. Look for symptoms that begin on lower branches and travel upward. Fungus thrives in warm, wet climates and can spread during mild winters. To prevent fungus rake leaves away from the tree in the Fall and call a Certified Arborist to prune and inspect your trees for proper fertility and irrigation.

Bacterial Wetwood (“Slime Flux”)

Water soaked wood with large numbers of bacteria will cause dead wood to give off a sour odor. The build up of bacteria causes fermentation resulting in pressure from gasses inside of the tree. Wetwood is a minor problem, however, and is characterized by a vertical streak on the bark where liquid has escaped from wounds in the tree. It sometimes causes foliage to wilt and branches to die back. This bacteria tolerates low oxygen levels and enter the tree through wounds above the soil level. The only way to control and treat Bacterial Wetwood is with a bactericide, which can only be applied by a Certified Arborist.