Emerald Ash Beetle (Ash Borer)
Diplodia Tip Blight/ Needle Cast
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Throughout the northeastern states, many trees may be nearly defoliated by anthracnose from late May through June. Results of the disease are severe leaf blighting, eventual defoliation and formation of grotesque “birds nest” cluster of twigs.
The anthracnose fungus spends the winter in infected twigs and branches throughout the tree. In the spring, spores are produced and are washed by rain to the leaves and twigs below. For this reason, only the uppermost and outermost leaves escape the disease during years of severe infection. Temperatures during early spring play a greater role in governing disease severity. If the daily temperatures are between 50° and 55° between bud break and early leaf emergence, anthracnose will be severe. Maple, oak, sycamore, birch and ash are affected by a variety of anthracnose organisms.
Birch Leafminers are among the most common insect pests responsible for defoliation and browning of Birch trees in North America. Because people often do not see the early signs of Birch Leafminer feeding, it often appears the tree has suddenly dried up or become diseased. This browning is caused by the outer layers of the leaf drying out after the Leafminer larva has consumed the green tissue between the outer layers of the leaf.
Adult Birch Leafminers are about 1/8" to 1/4" long, black and fly-like. Females deposit their eggs singly in slits cut in the central areas of young leaves, usually near the tips of branches. The eggs hatch into legless, worm-like larvae that feed between the leaf surfaces. A single leaf can contain as many as 40 larvae which has devastating effects on the photosynthetic area of the leaf.
“Leaf Miner Disease”
Ash trees are one of the most valuable and abundant North American woodland trees. The Emerald Ash Borer has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees throughout North America and Canada. Small trees can die as soon as one to two years after infestation, while larger infested trees can survive for three to four years.
This bright, metallic-green beetle is capable of taking down ash trees thousands of times its size. Adults are typically ½" long and ⅛" wide. Eggs are extremely small and are reddish-brown in color. Larvae are white, flat-headed borers with distinct segmentation. The larvae bore into the ash tree and feed under the bark, leaving tracks visible underneath. The feeding disrupts the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, resulting in dieback and bark splitting.
“Emerald Ash Borer”
Egg masses are light brown in color and appear as fuzzy patches on tree trunks, branches, firewood, or in other sheltered spots. Each egg mass contains 600 to 700 eggs. The larval stage of the Gypsy moth is a caterpillar that hatches in the spring, from eggs laid the summer before, just about the time oak buds start to open. Once hatched caterpillars grow to about 2.2 inches in length. Gypsy moths eat young, tender leaves in the spring causing defoliation. When populations of Gypsy moths are very high, they will even eat evergreen species which do not regrow leaves as easily as deciduous trees, and can die as a result of complete defoliation.
Although Gypsy moths do not pose a major threat to New York's forests, they are not native and their populations can reach high, destructive (outbreak) levels. When populations are high, thousands of acres can be damaged.
“Diplodia Tip Blight”
Diplodia Tip Blight is a progressive fungal disease that effects Evergreen Tree Species and without treatment can and will be terminal. Tip blight infection year after year can weaken and even kill large healthy trees.
A few brown needles at the tip of the current season's growth are the first evidence of tip blight. These blighted needles are usually located on the lower branches of the tree. Needles that are in the early stages of development stop growing after infection and therefore appear stunted when compared to healthy needles.
“Needle Cast Disease”
Needle Cast Disease is a fungal disease that only affects “Evergreen tree species” and there is no known species that is completely immune to the disease although Pines, Douglas Firs and some Blue Spruce Trees tend to be most affected in this area. Like Diplodia Tip Blight, the disease is progressive and without treatments is terminal.
Symptoms begin in early Autumn when needles within the interior of the infected tree begin to develop yellow spots (or cankers). As the Autumn season progresses, infected needles develop more of a tan color and brown transverse bands begin to become apparent on the needle surfaces. Infected needles may remain attached through the winter and spring (although appearing dead) and spore production and infection can take place whenever temperatures are above freezing and needles are wet.