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Fungal Tree Disease

Is your Tree at risk of having a Fungal Tree Disease?

       The Des Moines Arborist at Olson Tree Care remind you that preventative maintenance is the best option, we do not often recommend continual, predictable treatments. Often times a pre bud swell treatment followed by a pre bud break treatment can be effective when done bi yearly. Trees that have been infected by Fungi or are infected by Fungimay need foliar applications throughout the year to limit spread followed by the pre bud treatment the following year.

       Some of the common Fungal Tree Diseases in Des Moines, Iowa are listed below, along with commons Trees effected.

  • Dutch Elm Disease - effects mainly American, red and rock elms.

  • Cedar Apple Rust - effects mainly eastern red cedar, apple, crabapple, juniper.

  • Phomopsis Blight - effects mainly arborvitae, larch fir, doug fir, juniper.

  • Verticillium Wilt - effects a wide variety of trees, elm, maple, redbud etc.

  • Dothistroma Needle Blight - effects mainly Austrian and ponderosa pines.

  • Apple Scab - effects mainly apple, crabapple, hawthorn, pear, cotoneaster, mountain ash.

  • Eutypella Canker - effects mainly maples, boxelder.

  • Rhizospheria Needle Cast - effects mainly Colorado blue spruce.

  • Thousand Cankers - walnut.

  • Bur Oak Blight - bur oak.

  • Oak Wilt - effects mainly red, black, scarlet, pin and shingle oaks.

  • Cytospora Canker - spruce.

  • Pine Needle Rust - effects mainly pine and aster.

  • Anthracnose - effects mainly ash, oak, maple, dogwood, sycamore.

Limiting Fungal spread on a Tree


       Fungi is one of the most common diseases identified by Tree Services in Des Moines, Iowa which has a negative effects on our Trees. The reason for flourishing Fungi is our Wet Environment. These small parasitic micro organisms then spread by contact, often becoming, one of the causal factors in Tree Decline. Most contact occurs by wind, insect, or possibly a dirty pruning tool used in the past. At Olson Tree Care our advice is to not let a fungi get ahold of your Tree. Once infected you may find the battle to be up hill and expensive with little to no ROI.

        What are some concrete steps to Limiting Fungal spread on a Tree and can be taken to avoid being in need of Tree Removal?​ The last thing we want to have to do is remove a 60 year old Tree in full maturity when it may be avoided. 

       Here is a list of tips that may help with your Tree Investment.

       7 Steps to limit fungal spread on a Tree.  


       1. Remove bird feeders

       - Birds spreadFungi from Tree to Tree. Once Olson Tree Care Des Moines Arboriculturist Chris Olson saw Fasciation, a Fungal Tree Disease, spread by birds.      

        2. Increase Vitality. 

       - A multitude of Tree born illnesses are derived from decline. Very similar to an elderly patient in the hospital who succumbs to the flu, our Trees are also Living Organisms that need  Health and Vitality through nutrition and absence of injury. ie. Hydrate when dry, feed, mulch, structurally trim when young, trim less when old, follow ANSI Standards and more.  


       3. Clean Pruning Tools. 

       - Rubbing Alcohol or a Bleach solution 1 to 9 should suffice.       

       4. Remove infected area. 

       - Restrict contact and dispose of securely. (do not mulch, this will put the spores airborne) Hiring a Certified Tree Service should insure that sterilization is taking place prior to any Des Moines Arborist Tree Pruning.       

       5. IPM. (Integrated Pest Management)

       - Tree Pest Management in Des Moines is best done with a ISA Certified Arboriculturist who considers Integrated Pest Management option. This can come in the form of Silviculture techniques providing proper spacing and ridding the area of infected Trees.      

       6. Fungicide. 

       - Chemical control in the form of Fungicide is an option to treat Fungal Tree Disease. Preventative maintenance is the best option, using a random Mode of Action, preventing resistance by the Fungi to the Treatment. In addition, using different Fungicide Active Ingredients that are applicable to your Disease likelihood may have advantages.      

       7. Insecticide. 

       - In some cases Insecticide may be a recommendation of a Tree Pest Management by a Des Moines Tree Service. When the presence of Fungi carrying insects is determined, control methods to reduce numbers may be an option.


       If you have a Tree listed in this category you may want to consider having a Tree Service implement steps 1 through 5. 

       Please be mindful that step 6 and 7 should only be carried out by a Licensed and Certified Pesticide Applicator, who will possess advanced training in the many different areas of Arboriculture. In addition, an applicator must be Certified by the State of Iowa and work for a Licensed Commercial Pesticide Company. We are both Licensed and Certified by the State of Iowa and a leading Tree Service in Des Moines, Iowa

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