Many people think that the trees in their yards are invincible because they are so large and solid. However, trees are just as susceptible to disease as other plants, but they are a much bigger problem to treat and remove if the infection really sets in. Fortunately, there are a variety of simple pest and disease control tips that you can use to keep your trees happy and healthy.
Sometimes you will notice discolored or spotted leaves or even dead, brittle branches on your tree. Remove these immediately to prevent the spread of disease. Wipe the pruning shears down with rubbing alcohol after every cut. Throw all debris into a garbage bag and dispose of it or burn it rather than allowing it to fall on the ground, where bacterial or fungal infections can reinfect the tree. Quick removal of infected areas of the tree is essential to controlling the spread of infection.
Trees sometimes need additional watering. Water in the early morning to prevent water from creating a humid environment later in the day that is conducive to mold and mildew. Water using a drip hose to prevent splashing, which can lead to fungal infections and blight on leaves. Do not water when the ground is already damp or when there is standing water, or you can create a serious problem with root rot.
If your tree has a lot of small shoots growing near it, then these shoots will be very susceptible to bacteria, fungi and pests. Remove shoots and smaller trees from the immediate vicinity around the tree to avoid draining the tree of nutrients and to prevent small infections that can then attack the larger tree.
If you are planting new trees, identify problems in your area and select cultivars that are resistant to these problems. For example, if you have frequent issues with drought, then select a drought-resistant tree. If you have pests like scale insects that are endemic to the area, then pick a plant that is either unappealing to these insects or that tends to suffer only minor damage under these kinds of infections. Picking a pest- or disease-resistant tree can save you a great deal of time and money when it comes to maintaining a healthy tree.