Making Smarter Landscaping Choices

3 Tree Diseases That Can Damage A Plains Cottonwood Tree

The Plains Cottonwood tree is a large, beautiful deciduous tree with furrowed gray bark, shiny green leaves, and yellow or red flowers. The Plains Cottonwood offers shade and beauty to larger properties in need of a classic tree. Keep your property looking its best by learning some simple maintenance steps for your tree, which include checking for some telltale signs of certain tree diseases.

Here are some common diseases that strike Plains Cottonwood trees and how a tree care service can treat the problem.

Wet Wood

Wet wood is a bacterial tree infection that causes a continuous oozing substance from areas where the tree has suffered previous damage, such as broken wood or pruning wounds. The substance is dark and foul-smelling and will stain the bark it touches. The oozing spreads across the bark, moving the disease throughout the tree.

A tree care service can help control the wet wood infection by creating a strategic outlet hole that allows all of the sap material, which is actually fermentation created by the bacteria, a quick and easy route out of the tree. A pipe will be attached to the hole so that the exiting sap doesn't fall onto the tree.

Cytospora Canker

Cytospora canker happens when a fungus spreads into a Plains Cottonwood tree. The fungus typically targets trees that are already in poor health because healthy trees have a great ability to fight off this type of infection. The symptoms are sunken, oval-shaped cankers on the bark of the tree. Cankers will have a reddish interior that will ooze a wet, sap-like substance.

The festering canker will eventually cut off the nutrients to its twig or branch. The branch will then die and fall from the tree. The canker disease typically isn't fatal unless the tree was already in extremely poor health.

Call a tree trimming service to trim away any twigs or branches affected by cankers. Avoid doing the pruning work on your own, as a slip with the shears can create a new tree wound and site for the canker to spread.

Heart Rot

Heart rot is a fungal disease that can potentially kill your Plains Cottonwood over the course of several years. The fungus eats through the heartwood of the tree, which is the essential wood within the trunk that can't simply be trimmed away to remove the risk of damage. The prime symptoms are darkened or yellowish conks that form in a condensed area on the trunk.

Call a tree care service to formally diagnose the heart rot disease. The service can then ensure that the tree stays as healthy as possible during the years it can survive the heart rot. This includes ensuring that the tree doesn't suffer any pruning or weather-related damage that can help the fungus spread to other, wounded areas of the tree and potentially speed up the tree's death.   

Once the tree finally succumbs to the heart rot disease, you will need to call in a tree removal service like Arborcare Tree Service.


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