Serving South-Central Wisconsin
9751 Wilkinson Rd., Mazomanie, WI 53560
Mon-Fri: 7:00 - 5:00
01 Jun 2018
Bacterial Leaf Scorch

Maple Leaf Diseases

Bacterial Leaf Scorch
Bacterial Leaf Scorch


The wet, blistering hot weather that we all suffered through this Memorial Day weekend has hurt the Maples this spring. Several foliar diseases have developed which cause black spots on leaves and leaf fall. Anthracnose and Maple Leaf Blister are the most common causes and usually do not warrant control. The weather has changed to cooler, drier conditions and these cosmetic diseases should be arrested as the season progresses.

Although startling, I seldom recommend fungicide treatments unless the trees are in prime landscape locations or are important or sentimental to a client.

I have seen a much more rare disease in Dane and the west side of Madison. Bacterial Leaf Scorch affects the entire crown of the tree at once as it is a Vascular Bacteria rather than a Foliar Fungus. This disease re-occurs year after year until successive defoliation weaken the tree and eventually the trees die back. This disease can be controlled with injections of Antibiotics.

31 Jan 2017

Dutch Elm Disease

Upon settlement, the American Elm was the dominant tree in American river bottom ecosystems. Adapted to periodically saturated soils with low oxygen content, these trees are very well adapted to the poor soils of urban environments.  Their habit of arching outwardly created gothic arches, elegantly shading the streets of our growing nation.  Many towns planted 100% American Elms in their urban forests.

A fungal disease from Europe was introduced to our continent in 1928 when Veneer logs were shipped to Toledo via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Shortly after arrival, European Elm Bark Beetles began to emerge from these European logs.  Spores from this vascular disease covered their bodies and were spread to the native American Elms growing nearby.  Soon, the Elm trees around the shipyard started to die.  If we had only known what was going on at this time, the disease could have been stopped.  These beetles can fly up to 40 miles per year so by 1989, 58 million trees had been killed across the Midwest and Canada.

Once infected, there is no cure. Branches from infected trees begin to flag, or turn yellow by early summer.  These trees completely die by fall.  A secondary way that the disease can spread is through the roots of adjacent trees.  When Elms are spaced within 50 feet of each other, root graft transmission is likely and there is no cure from this type of systemic infection.

High Value Elm trees can be protected for 3 years with a fungicide injection of “Arbotect”.  We continue to treat some very sentimental or historic trees for over 30 years successfully where all other trees in the neighborhood were killed long ago.

This story of global homogenization continues to be repeated over and over withIncreased global trade with no restriction or fumigation treatment.  Emerald ash Borer parallels this story in that infested wood in the form of untreated pallets or crating material was brought down the St. Lawrence Seaway, escaping into the surrounding Ash Trees and now we are in the midst of losing another highly dominant tree species.  Within a few decades, all of the unprotected Ash trees in North America will be gone.

When will we learn from our mistakes?

21 Dec 2016

2017 Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small, narrow, emerald-colored beetle about the length of a penny. It smuggled itself into the country along the St. Lawrence Seaway hiding in untreated crating and shipping material.  Native to Asia, it has hitched a ride to America where our native species of Ash trees have absolutely no resistance.  It lays its eggs into the bark of the tree, which hatch into larvae that burrow into the tree’s conductive tissues.  This burrowing activity creates unique “S” shape galleries into these important tissues resulting in tree death.

As you probably know, EAB was found in Warner Park in 2013 and is advancing through the Dane County area.  Currently, Maple Bluff and Middleton are the worst hit with McFarland, Waunakee, Oregon and Sun Prairie close behind.  The average seems to be that eight years after a county is quarantined, all the non-protected trees will be dead.  2017 will be the most important year to get Ash trees injected with Treeage as we are entering year five.

The most important thing to know is that you do not need to lose your ash trees.   Emergency registration of Treeage, an injectable insecticide, now enables us to absolutely protect your trees for two full seasons against this invasive scourge.  Treeage insecticide can be injected into Ash trees as soon as leaves emerge in the spring, typically early May, until the end of the growing season.  Any Ash trees not treated will die.

Your trees don’t have to die – call or email us for a free evaluation of your Ash trees today!