A Complete Guide To Keeping Your Elm, Ash, & Oak Trees Healthy

Elm Trees

Having over 30 species of elm trees around the world, we’ve probably seen a variation of this during a walk in a park or on a hike through the forest. What are elm trees? Elm trees are decidous and semi-decidous trees that originated in Central Asia millions of years ago. Throughout the world, 8 out of the 30 species of elm trees are located in North America. Elm trees are gorgeous looking trees with oval-shaped leaves with somewhat of a pointy and rounded edge. Also, If you look closely, you will notice that the leaf is a bit translucent which allows you to see the veins of the leaf. With a rough bark and deep grooves, elm trees have an umbrella like structure which with its limbs and branches spreading out really wide, which is perfect to shade you on a hot summer day. If you’re trying to look for elm trees, you can always find them under the sun in areas where there is moist soil. Finding them may be a bit difficult, but not impossible. The American elm tree used to be one of North America’s most common trees until a fungal disease, the Dutch Elm Disease, which grows on the elm tree’s sapwood wiped most of them out. This fungal disease was a big problem at the time, because it was very hard to trace how far the disease could spread, since the fungal disease can also spread underground, and infect other surrounding trees in the area. The disease had a slow process which can last several years. It starts by infecting roots of the surrounding trees nearby, and slowly crawls up the branches of the elm tree.

Symptoms of an American Elm Tree that you can observe to see if its infected with the Fungal Disease:

  • Yellowing or browning leaves in any other season other than Fall. Majority of the times you it may already have started from the roots, but you may always check if the infection started in the upper crown of the tree. You will see a yellow or brown discoloration on the leaves of the Elm tree’s upper branches.
  • If it starts from the roots, you will see a darker discoloration on the bark and the lower stems and branches of the elm tree. With this method of infection, the elm tree can die out much quicker in comparison to the disease starting on the upper crown. For confirmation, you may cut off stem or even a thin branch to see if there’s any darker discoloration or brown streaks inside.
  • Symptoms usually start during the summer, but it can happen almost any time.
  • The disease can also be spread by beetles which tunnels into the bark of the tree moving from one tree to the next. This can also be a good indication that the elm tree is infected by the fungal disease.

So how do you exactly treat this disease or deal with elm trees that are spreading the infection to other nearby trees? For starters, you can always completely remove the elm tree. Also, you can add in pesticides and fungisides to help prevent the disease on uninfected trees. If you need help identifying or treating your infected elm tree and your surrounding trees, you may always call in a tree service professional to help with you in this matter.

Ash Trees

Ash trees are beautiful trees with 13 different species which can be tall and wide as an elm tree, or can be a smaller tree which can be found in swamps. Out of all the species of ash trees, green ash and white ash are commonly found across the Midwest. With most Ash trees, it is common to see oval-shaped leaves and diamond shaped ends, which is help by opposing branches. With Ash trees having a  thick bark, you will also notice a diamond pattern engraved on it as well. Just like the elm tree, it is important to keep any eye out for invasive beetles that can also infect your trees with disease which cause it to die. These beetles can be common in some areas, and some towns have even quarantined entire areas just to control the spread of the disease.

Where do all these beetles come from? Majority of these infectious beetles originated from Asia, and is now spreading across the US mostly found in the upper midwest states. These beetles have a metallic green color and can grow up to about half an inch long which can make them hard to spot when you’re inspecting the health of an ash tree. These beetles can kill a tree by simply laying its egg on the bark, which later on hatches into a larvae which eventually tunnels into the tree consuming the ash tree’s sapwood as it goes. This process interrupts the tree water flow from the ground into the branches and the leaves of the tree, which in effect would dehydrate the tree — killing it slowly in the process.

The best way to protect your ash trees from getting infested by beetles is prevention. You’ll need to be proactive to make sure to detect any early signs of infestation to prevent the eggs from hatching and tunneling into the tree. Check with your tree service company to see if they have any recommendations on companies that they recommend to help get these beetles or any other invasive insects under control. Companies like Fairfield County Tree Removal will be able to offer you suggestions of local companies that you can trust for critter removal.

Symptoms of an Ash Tree that is infested by Beetles:

  • Early Coloration in the fall
  • Branch like pieces coming out of the trunk
  • Woodpeckers living on the tree
  • Branches would die starting from the top all the way down
  • The tree looks like its naked or is missing some branches

While using insecticides could be hazardous to the environment around the tree, it can definitely help you prevent further damage or any unwanted beetle infestation on the tree. Before applying insecticides, please make sure to find out with your local government or a tree professional on guidelines and restrictions set by the city or state where you’re residing in.

Oak Trees

Across America, Oak trees are probably the most favorite trees used for landscaping home or commercial establishments. Not only do they look majestic, but they also give out a magical and blissful feeling during the fall due to the red and brown leaves on the tree and the layer of leaves surrounding the bottom. An oak tree can easily be identified with its leaves, since they have a lobe or sinus-like, similar to the lobe shape of a brain, and the end of these leaves can be pointy or round. You will also find acorns fruiting from these trees. The bark of these oak trees are tough and grayish in color with deep ridges embedded on it. Oak trees can get quite large and can grow between 60 ft. to a 100 ft.

What kind of diseases do oak trees have? Oak trees usually have common tree diseases such as anthracnose, root rot, or leaf scorch. Another disease that is specific to the oak tree is oak wilt, and they can kill your tree within a year if it is not quickly treated by a tree professional. To find if you have oak wilt on your trees is by looking at the color of top leaves of the tree that have fallen to the ground. Usually, good indicator is when you see that some of the fallen leaves from the top will have mix of green and brown colors. The last indicator is if you notice that your oak tree is not green in color, then please contact your tree professional and get a fair estimate for this service right away.

Now that you have figured out how to identify the issues and problems of elm, ash, and oak trees, we hope that you can fully enjoy and take care of the environment surrounding you given to us by nature.