3 Diseases That Affect Aspen Trees

Aspen trees are tall, narrow trees with white bark and thin leaves that are bright green in summer before turning to bright yellow or orange in the fall. An aspen tree can grow in nearly any type of soil and loves full sunlight, which makes aspens a great choice for many yards.

If you have aspens, frequent care and monitoring can help your trees look healthy as long as possible. This care includes identifying and treating aspen tree diseases that can spring up and knowing when to call a tree service for help.

Ink Spot Disease

The fungus-borne ink spot disease affects the leaves of the aspen tree. Early symptoms can make it look as though insects are eating holes through the leaves. As the disease progresses, the holes begin to turn brown and then black. The infected leaves will fall off the trees far earlier than the normal autumnal shedding.

Ink spot disease doesn't pose a risk to the trunk or lifespan of the tree and is mostly a cosmetic issue. If you suspect ink spot disease, remove all of the infected leaves and clear those leaves completely away from the tree. Fungicide can be used to prevent the disease from coming back the following year but won't help a currently affected tree recover its sick leaves.

Slime Flux

Bacteria can cause a rather unsightly tree disease called slime flux. The main symptom is a thick, plentiful, and foul-smelling slime that seeps out of any cracks or other damaged areas in the bark. Thankfully, the slime doesn't actually damage the tree itself in most cases. But there's a chance of some branches dying off if the disease gets too deep into the bark.

Treat the tree by cutting off the wounded areas where the slime is flowing. Call in a tree-trimming service for assistance because accidental slips by a novice can result in even more bark wounds and more slime.

Sooty Bark Canker

An often-fatal disease for aspen trees is sooty bark canker. The fungus-borne disease will cause bark to fall off in chunks and expose a sooty, gritty hardwood underneath. The sooty wood is a sign that the interior wood has begun to die and that the tree isn't likely to be saved unless the disease is confined to branches that can be quickly trimmed away.

If your whole aspen tree is infected, call in a tree removal service like Yarnell Tree Co Inc to remove the affected tree before the disease can spread to any neighboring trees.