Homeowners receive many benefits from the trees on their property. Trees act as windbreaks, provide cooling shade on hot summer days, and may even provide household members with delicious fruits and nuts. Healthy trees also bring an abundance of aesthetic beauty to the table and may even increase the overall value of your home. However, there are certain pests and pathogens with the potential to wreak havoc on your trees, and if you're like most homeowners, you're already aware of certain insects such as aphids and various species that routinely damage trees, but did you know that fungal pathogens also pose a serious risk to the health of your trees?
Fungal pathogens are particularly insidious because most infestations begin on the inside of your tree where it festers unseen until it's destroyed the tree's interior structure, and by the time the fruiting bodies become evident, it's usually too late to save the tree. It's also impossible to eradicate fungal pathogens from the environment — fungal spores are present in nearly all outdoor environments. Fortunately, proactive strategies exist for protecting your trees from being damaged or destroyed from fungal pathogens — here's four of them.
Keep Your Trees Healthy
Healthy trees are better able to fend off pests and pathogens of any type, including invasive fungal spores. Even if an infestation does develop in robust trees, they're less likely to be adversely affected than their nonhealthy counterparts. Make sure your tree is properly watered and fertilized to keep as healthy as possible.
Except in periods of drought, most mature tree species only require watering about once per month — and if they're native species, they may not need watering at all. When you do water your trees, do so in the morning so that any extraneous water has a chance to evaporate before nightfall. Fungal spores become far more active after the sun goes down.
Clean Up Yard Debris in a Timely Fashion
Piles of leaves and other vegetative debris provide a prime environment for the development of fungal colonies, so make sure they're raked up in a timely fashion rather than allowed to fester on your lawn. Piles of debris don't have to be close to your trees in order to infect them with fungal pathogens — fungal spores travel on the wind.
Have Diseased Trees Removed
Because fungal disease typically begins in the interior of the tree and works its way out, affected trees are often damaged beyond repair. Having the tree removed as soon as possible can help protect the other trees in your yard from suffering the same fate. Contact a tree removal service for more information.