The climate of Southern California, including cities such as Santa Barbara, is delightful to humans, with warmer winters and summers that generally don’t get scorching hot. However, it’s also be conducive to certain diseases of trees. Pollution and stress may also make a tree more susceptible to getting sick over its lifetime. What’s worse is that a diseased tree is more susceptible to pests such as oak worms, cabbage palm caterpillars, and royal palm bugs. These pests may mean the death of a tree that was already weakened.
Some of the more common tree diseases seen in Southern California are fire blight, leaf spot, sudden oak death, fusarium wilt, Dutch elm disease, and anthracnose. Fire blight is caused by a bacteria and attacks apple, quince, and pear trees, usually during a hot spell in spring when the trees are in bloom. The wounds caused by fire blight are full of bacteria that are in turn spread to other trees by wind, rain, or insects. You can tell if your tree has fire blight because the tree looks as if someone has set fire to its branches. There are dead leaves and fruit, cankers, and branches deformed into hooks.
Fusarium wilt is caused by a fungus, and it harms palm trees. It attacks the roots first and interferes with water getting up into the leaves of the tree. Initially, the older leaves of the plant die. This is followed by the death of new leaves. Eventually, the entire tree is killed.
Sudden oak death has killed millions of California oaks since the 1990s. It is caused by a mold that’s spread by the wind and rain. You’ll notice when the trunk of your oak tree erupts in cankers that secrete a red liquid like blood. The weakened tree attracts bugs that eventually kill it.
What Can Be Done for a Sick Tree?
Our arborists at Economy Tree know several ways to help if you suspect that your tree is sick. For one thing, we can tell whether the tree is really diseased or simply suffering from some type of stress such as too much or too little watering or soil compacted around its roots. If the tree is sick, our arborists can:
- Apply fungicide
- Prune diseased limbs
- Give you tips on tree care
- Remove it if it can’t be helped
Trust Your Local Specialists
With its beautiful weather and proximity to the ocean, Santa Barbara is famous for being a stellar place to live. Let our team at Economy Tree help you help the trees on your property to live long and healthy lives. We’ve been assisting your neighbors in Santa Barbara County for over 35 years. If you think there’s a problem with your tree, give us a call today.