Oak Tree Diseases and How To Treat Them, Hunker

Oak Tree Diseases and How To Treat Them

The majority of people can agree that oak trees are beautiful. But if they are left untreated, oak tree diseases will kill the tree. Many homeowners don’t realize that their actions can contribute to a tree dying, so it is important not to make any changes to the canopy of an oak tree. Symptoms of oak tree diseases include discolored or spotted foliage, dead or dying foliage or branches, thinning canopy, shelf mushrooms or wet patches on the trunk. Although infections can lead to the death of a tree, one can treat them.

Phytophthora Root Rot

Phytophthora root rot is a disease that is soil-borne. This disease rots at the roots of the tree, and if the soil is warm or produces a lot of moisture, the virus can reproduce. Phytophthora can form if you water the oak tree beneath the canopy. Native oak trees thrive off of drought-like conditions. Another way that the tree can become diseased is if there is a buildup of soil or mulching material near the trunk. The disease thrives in this type of environment and is harmful to the oak tree’s health.

Oak Tree Blister

Oak tree blister can be detected on the top and bottom of the tree’s leaves. The surface of the leaves will look blistered, hence the name. On the other side of the leaf, it will look gray colored, but as the disease gets worse, it will turn brown. When the tree turns brown, it will curl up and drop prematurely. The tree won’t die, but it will not be as full during the season as it should.

Armillaria Root Rot

The most common type of diseases is Armillaria root rot, also known as oak root fungus. Oak root fungus is found in the root and tree trunks. If you see clusters of mushrooms growing at the base of an oak tree, this is a warning sign of oak root fungus. The health of the tree becomes compromised due to overwatering the tree, nutrient deficiency or excess soil build up. Interestingly enough, Armillaria root rot can last in a tree for over 20 to 50 years if left untreated.

Bacterial Wetwood

Bacterial wetwood is the least damaging oak tree disease. Wetwood, also known as slime flux, is when an anaerobic bacteria infects the wood. The infected wood’s composition causes disrupted membranes, high pH and low amounts of free oxygen due to small spaces in the tree being filled with water. Wetwood infects wounds, branch stubs, and root stubs, as well as alters the wood by causing high pH, high moisture and low oxygen due to decay-causing fungi. You’ll notice the effects of wetwood because the tree starts to form a bunch of cracks called spider heart. It is a common feature, though in many trees in the forest. Specifically white oaks.

Oak Tree Care and Service

If you water, continuously prune and use oak tree fertilizer. This will help your oak trees remain healthy, adapt to environmental stressors and insects, as well as decrease the breeding of diseases. It is essential to know what type of oak tree you have before trying to care for it. Stopping infection starts by adequately looking after your oak trees. If your oak trees become subject to disease, you need to consult an arborist who will know how to treat the issue properly.


How to destroy a gall mite on a pear

Quite often, gardeners are faced with various tree diseases and pests.

One of them is a pear gall mite, and how to deal with it, we will tell in this article.

What is the «enemy»

The pest has very small dimensions — the length of an adult individual is only 0.18 mm. Insects have a white color, which with the arrival of autumn is replaced by pink or light brown. The insect moves with the help of two pairs of legs. It spends wintering between kidney scales. In one kidney there may be about 1500 insects. Even before the buds begin to bloom, each female lays 5-6 eggs, leaving them on the inside of the scales.

Then, from them, the emergence of larvae, which by the time the buds begin to blossom, will become adult individuals. They dig into the not yet blossoming leaves and gradually contribute to the appearance of galls.

Important! Dead leaves from infected trees must be burned, as it may contain pest larvae.

On leaves that have been infected, yellow-brown begins to appear, and then blackening minor swellings. Sometimes there is a coalescence of pear galls, which creates the appearance of a «tumor».

Over time, drying of the epidermis and cracking of the galls are observed. In such a situation, ticks are looking for new young leaves and move to them.

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What harm from a tick

Having settled on the sheet, the pest begins to suck the juice out of it. In such leaves there is a violation of the water balance, a decrease in the amount of chlorophyll, stopping the photosynthesis process. The plant becomes weak.

If the tree attacked a large number of pests, the fruits grow, but have small sizes. Ticks are dangerous for plants in any period of development — they negatively affect the tree during its growth and during the formation of the fruit.

Gall mite often affects linden, mountain ash, sea buckthorn.

The gall mite on a pear can cause very great harm, so control measures should be taken immediately.

Often mass reproduction Gall mites contribute to the inept selection and frequent use of organophosphate agents that are intended for the death of their enemies. Sometimes the number of ticks increases due to the increase of their fertility under the influence of stimulating drugs.

Means of struggle

If your garden attacked pear gall mite, treatment should be carried out as soon as possible. There are several ways to combat pest. Consider them in more detail.

Agrotechnical receptions

It is plant protection against pests using this method that is most effective. Thanks to the ground-growing tillage, the number of gall mites and their larvae is reduced.

Did you know? Ticks love heat. They will not reach the surface until the air warms to at least 10 ° C.

It protects against pests and the introduction of a variety of fertilizing with the use of mineral fertilizers. They allow to increase the osmotic pressure in the cell sap, which makes it difficult to feed the ticks.

To combat the galls, it is recommended to carry out the following agrotechnical measures:

  • clean the stumps and skeletal branches from the old bark;
  • collect and remove plant residues from the site (fallen fruit and leaves);
  • regularly carry out pruning crown.

If there are no weeds in your garden, it will reduce the probability of tick breeding.


In the fight against pear gall mites, it is common to use special agents — acaricides.

To implement the treatment of trees, it is recommended to use organophosphorus and chlorine-containing preparations. Thanks to this method, you can get rid of pests pretty quickly. They affect the mite’s digestive system and lead to its death. The pear must be processed twice a week for 2 months.

Important! When buying new seedlings carefully inspect the leaves and shoots. The infected tree is a carrier of ticks, as a result of its planting other plants on the site may suffer.

Insect control can be carried out by injection. Due to the fact that the substance quickly penetrates into all parts of the plant, this allows you to get rid of a large number of pests.

If the tree struck a pear gall mite, what is the way to process the plant? You can use drugs such as «Decis», «Inta-vir» and «Fufanon.»

Folk methods

Some gardeners are in no hurry to use chemicals to kill pests, as they may adversely affect the quality of the crop. In this situation, preference is given to plant-based products.

If your garden attacked pear gall mite, you can use the means of combating folk remedies. For spraying use an infusion of marigolds, potatoes, dandelions, chamomile, garlic and ash.

Did you know? For the first time, gall mites were discovered in 1989 by an acarologist from Austria, Alfred Nalepa.

We offer to familiarize with some common recipes.

  • Potato infusion. It is necessary to take 1 kg of fresh tops (can be replaced by 500 g dry), chop it thoroughly. Chopped tops pour 1 bucket of warm water. For 4 hours, this mixture is infused, then filtered, it is added 1 tbsp. spoon of soap. Use the solution within 24 hours after preparation.
  • Infusion of marigolds. 100 g of flowers are added to 1 l of water and boiled. Broth insist 5 days and then diluted with the same amount of water.
  • Infusion of dandelions. 1 kg of foliage pour 3 liters of water. Mixture insist 3 days. Then the solution is filtered and a small piece of soap is added to it.

Find out what to do if your garden is plagued by a spider mite.

Folk remedies have good effectiveness and help get rid of pests.

Gallic pear mite is a very dangerous insect that can cause great harm to both the crop and the tree. Having found a pest, it is necessary to immediately take measures against insects.


How to Deal With Leaf Galls

The Spruce / Marie Iannotti

Have you ever picked up a leaf that was dotted with bumps or had long protrusions dangling from it? Chances are these are leaf galls.

The appearance of leaf galls is a jarring sight. The bumps can be hard or just hollow protrusions. Your first thought might be that it is a disease or insects have laid eggs or burrowed into the leaf, the way leafminers do. The good news is that the bumps are generally not caused by a disease. They are usually insect damage. However, by the time you see those bumps, the insect has long since moved on.

What Leaf Galls Are

Leaf galls are a frightening sight but are not usually as serious as they appear. These bumps and deformities are generally the results of feeding by insects or some other foreign organism such as bacteria, fungi, mites, nematodes, and even viruses. Whatever the original cause, these organisms are usually not still on the plant leaf. The gall itself is the plant’s response to the irritation. It’s not unlike the bump you get when an insect feeds on you, expect the leaf gall is not going to go away.

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Despite appearances, the insect is not living in the gall, and it has left behind no eggs in the gall itself. It is very likely that once you notice the galls, the insects have moved on. Before they do, they can do a lot of cosmetic damage to many plants and in particular trees. Galls can also form on stems and flowers. However, leaf galls seem to be the most prominent and get the most notice.

It is almost always the fresh new, leafy growth that is attacked by the insects and other organisms and then produces the galls. Mature leaves are rarely affected. However many common trees are susceptible to leaf galls, especially when first leafing out in the spring. Maple, oak, elm, hackberry, and others are each favored by a different insect that causes unsightly and intimidating galls.

You should expect that damage will be more considerable following a mild winter since more insects have survived and are hungry. That is true of any insect problem in your yard or garden. While the damage from galls won’t usually kill a tree, it can weaken the tree and may cause early leaf drop. A healthy tree will send out new growth and recover, but the loss of leaves and photosynthesis will, even more, weaken a stressed tree.

What You Can About Leaf Galls

As unsightly as they are, the best thing to do is just let them be. Since the damage occurred before the gall formed, treatment is rarely recommended.

If you have a severe reoccurring problem with the same insect affecting your tree year after year, you can take action to control that insect population in your yard and thereby lessen the severity of the damage to your tree. Contact your local extension office for specific guidelines and recommendations in your area.

You generally spray your trees in early spring, when they are first leafing out, and the insects will be visiting to chew on the tender new leaves. But if you’re patient, nature may take care of the problem for you. Gall-making insects tend to attract their predators, and they will stay in the area as long as there is food for them to eat.

The Bottom Line on Leaf Galls

Although leaf galls do not always pose a serious problem for trees, you should not ignore the presence of galls entirely. The formation of leaf galls requires a good deal of energy and nutrients from the tree, as it tries to defend and heal itself. At the start of the growing season, the tree needs all its strength to leaf out, flower and grow. So the formation of galls can stress and weaken the tree itself, as it is coming out of dormancy in the spring. This can happen when there is an unusually high concentration of galls on the plant or when the plant is attacked, and galls are produced several years in a row. If this is the case, you should consider finding out what organism is causing the galls and treat for it the following spring, to prevent further stress and damage.


Bird and rodent mites

Quick facts

Bird and rodent mite bites

When their normal host is not present these mites may bite humans, causing discomfort and sometimes skin irritations. Bird mites very rarely bite humans.

Tropical rat mite bites often cause tiny, clear blisters accompanied by a rash. They are not known to carry any human diseases.

House mouse mites can carry Rickettsia akari bacteria, which causes rickettsialpox in humans. It causes flu-like symptoms and a rash. It is usually mild and over within 2-3 weeks. Seek medical attention if you have been around house mice and develop symptoms.

Make sure that you correctly identify the type of mite you have. Spider mites, clover mites and velvet mites are generally found on plants and are harmless to humans.

How to get rid of bird and rodent mites

  • Physically remove them with a vacuum cleaner or wipe them up with a moist cloth.
  • Vacuuming does not kill the mites. Freeze the vacuum cleaner bag to prevent the mites from crawling back out.
  • For complete removal of mites, be sure to remove any birds or rodents and their nests.

Bird mites

  • Remove any dead birds that you find. Remove and dispose of empty nests.
  • Do not disturb nests if eggs or young ones of federally protected songbirds are present.
  • If the nesting season is over and only adults remain, you may remove the nest without harming the birds.
  • Pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are not federally protected. You may remove their nests any time.
  • To prevent bird mites from getting indoors, spray a pesticide like bifenthrin outdoors around windows, doors and possible entry points.

CAUTION: Read all product directions very carefully before buying pesticides and again before applying. If you cannot treat an outside area without harming an occupied nest, do not spray. Leave the nest alone until it is abandoned; then you can spray the house if mites are still a problem.

Rodent mites

To eliminate mice and rats from the home:

  • Locate and block the entrance/exit point used by rodents to enter the building.
  • Remove all possible food sources by placing all pantry food into air-tight containers.
  • Eliminate potential nesting sites by cleaning key areas such as closets, basements and storage areas.
  • Trap rats and mice with kill traps, live traps or glue boards.
    • Bait mouse traps with a mixture of peanut butter and rolled oats.
    • Bait rat traps with meat products such as ham or beef.
    • Arrange traps 10 to 15 feet apart, placed perpendicular to walls, baseboards and rows of boxes.
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Identifying bird and rodent mites

These mites are very small (about 1/32 inch long), but can be seen with the naked eye.

They do not feed on human blood.

They rarely transmit diseases or otherwise cause a health hazard to people.

Bird and rodent mites and other types of mites found in homes can be difficult to differentiate from each other. Proper identification is important when selecting the appropriate control measure.

Contact a specialist if you have a doubt about the type of mite seen in your home.

Bird mites live on a wide variety of domestic and wild birds, including poultry, pigeons, starlings, sparrows and robins.

These mites normally remain on birds or in bird nests throughout their life.

Mite eggs are laid in nests or on feathers.

Mite eggs hatch in two to three days and adults are seen about five days later if birds are present.

If a bird falls out of a nest and dies or a nest is abandoned, bird mites look for other hosts. These mites may enter homes to search for food when nests are on or in buildings.

Bird mites may bite people, but it is very rare.

Most common bird mites are northern fowl mites (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) and chicken mites (Dermanyssus gallinae).

Both mites feed on chickens and other poultry but they are also common on many song birds.

Northern fowl mites can survive up to two weeks without a bird blood meal.

Chicken mites can live a little longer without a blood meal.

Rodent mites can be found in homes where rats or mice are common or where rodents have recently died. Rodent mites can sometimes bite humans.

Tropical rat mite

Ornithonyssus bacoti is not truly tropical and does not exclusively feed on rats.

This mite can live for up to 10 days off its host.

It can travel great distances to find new food sources.

If rodents have been killed, the mites will leave their dead hosts, gather around heat sources, such as hot pipes and stoves and seek alternative food sources, including humans.

The bite of these mites often causes tiny, clear blisters accompanied by a rash. They are not known to carry any human diseases.

House mouse mite

Liponyssides sanguineus has a worldwide distribution but is more common in the U.S. in northeastern states.

It is normally a nest dweller and only occurs on the host when feeding.

It will attack humans if rodent hosts are not available.

This mite is of medical importance because it carries Rickettsia akari, a bacteria that causes rickettsialpox in humans.

This disease is relatively rare in the United States and there have not been any known cases in Minnesota.

Spiny rat mite

Occasionally bites people.

Most common mite occurring on Norway rats and roof rats in the U.S.

Not known to carry any diseases or pathogens.


Fixes For Black Knot Tree Diseases: What To Do When Black Knot Keeps Coming Back

Black knot disease is easy to diagnose because of the distinctive black gall on the stems and branches of plum and cherry trees. The warty-looking gall often completely encircles the stem, and can be anywhere from an inch to almost a foot in length. Older knots may become infested with a pinkish-white mold that covers the black gall.

Black Knot Tree Disease Info

Black knot fungus (Apiosporina morbosa) is primarily a disease of plum and cherry trees, although it can also infest other stone fruit, such as apricots and peaches, as well as ornamental Prunus species.

Black knot disease spreads in spring. On rainy days, the fungus releases spores which are carried on wind currents. If the spores happen to land on new spring growth of a susceptible tree, and especially if the tree is damp, the spores germinate and infect the tree.

The source of the disease is usually wild, abandoned or neglected trees and finding and removing the source is an important part of controlling black knot tree disease. Fungicide sprays also help treat the black knot disease, but you may find that the black knot keeps coming back if you don’t use a combination of fungicide and pruning to remove the knots.

Black Knot Treatment

The first step in treatment is to cut away branches and stems that have knots. If at all possible, do this in winter while the tree is dormant. The black knot fungus may extend further inside the tissue than the visible width of the gall, so make the cuts 2 to 4 inches below the gall to be sure you are cutting back to disease-free wood. Burn or bury the diseased branches to prevent the spread of the fungus.

The second part of an effective black knot treatment program is to treat the tree with a suitable fungicide. Fungicides vary in their effectiveness from region to region, so contact your cooperative extension agent to find out which product works best in your area. Read the label and follow the instructions exactly for best results. Timing is very important, and you will have to spray the tree several times at carefully timed intervals.

Caution: Fungicides are toxic. Store them in their original container and out of the reach of children. Avoid spraying on windy days.


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