Common Problems

COMMON HORTICULTURAL PROBLEMS

You have done all your good planning, followed the tips and taken care, but now you have some problems.  Here are some common issues - click on the type of problem below to find out more.

Check out this Basics of Diagnostics presentation from Alberta Agriculture to get a head start on identifying the problem.

BROWNING

Leaves and needles will turn brown due to environmental causes, insects and fungi.

LEAF BROWNING

Fire Blight is a common and fast-spreading bacterial disease that affects trees such as apple, mountain ash, pear, hawthorn etc.
Fire Blight Info
Fire Blight info                                                                       

Dutch Elm Disease

NEEDLE BROWNING     

For coniferous trees, here are some articles for why your needles may be browning:  

What is Going on With my Blue Spruce?
Lophodermium Needlecast (spruce and pine)    
Pine Needle Scale
Brown Spot Needle Blight of Pine

Managing Dothistroma and Brown Needle Blight on Pines
Dothistroma Needle Blight
Frost and Winter Damage
Spring Conifer Troubles
Browning of Evergreens
Spruce Problem Diagnosis sheets
Browning of Evergreens

HOLES IN LEAVES

Holes in leaves are often caused by insects munching away on your trees.  Here are some resources that may assist in explaining what type of insect you may be dealing with:

Larger Boxelder Leafroller
Early Aspen Leaf-curler
Gray Willow Leaf Beetle
Prairie Tent Caterpillar
Forest Tent Caterpillar
Leafminers 


BARK ISSUES

There are many causes for a variety of bark-related issues.                 

HOLES IN BARK

Borers create holes in bark.
Control of Borers in Prairie trees
Woodpecker & Sapsucker Damage

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

STRIPPED BARK

Bark being stripped is generally from animals such as deer and squirrels.
Mammal Damage
Squirrel Damage (Google images)
Identifying Wildlife Damage to Trees, Shrubs and Bushes

Squirrels
Tree Squirrels
Deer and Rabbits and Mice, oh My!

 

GROWTHS ON BARK 

Unsightly growths on branches and trunks are generally caused when birds and insects create damage on the bark and then fungi can enter those wounds.

What is Going on With my Blue Spruce?
Beware the Destruction Caused by Bark Beetles
Cytospora Canker on Deciduous Trees
Cytospora Canker of Conifers


OOZING SAP

This issue is one that is often caused by insects or fungi.

INSECT & BIRD RELATED

Insects and birds chomp into your trees and create holes for sap to seep out.  These articles explain some of what may be happening to your trees.

Northern Pitch Twig Moth
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

FUNGI RELATED

These issues can be traced back to fungi:

Lophodermium Needlecast (Spruce and Pine)
What is Going on With my Blue Spruce?
Cystospora Canker
Rhizosphaera Needlecast

BLACK KNOT

Like the name suggests, this isn't a pretty problem to have.  Black knot is a serious fungal growth on trees.                          

Management of Black Knot - FAQ


WORMS, MOTHS & MORE

So, you have spotted some creepy crawlies.  Here are some resources that may assist in explaining what worm, moth or caterpillar you may be dealing with:                   

Yellow Headed Spruce Sawfly
Balsam Fir Sawfly
Prairie Tent Caterpillar
Forest Tent Caterpillar
Forest Tent Caterpillar - more info
White Pine Weevil
Early Aspen Leaf-curler
Ugly Nest Caterpillar

 

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