There are a few tree diseases you’ll find in Colorado that could be attacking the greenery around your yard this spring. At A Touch of Class Tree Service, we are at your service to correct the problem quickly and efficiently. In the meantime, here are some tips and ideas for what you can do to detect and identify problems and know when and if you need to call the professionals to step in.
PURPLE SPRUCE NEEDLES: If you see these purple needles popping up here and there, it is not a changing of the seasons, but something more serious. All spruce trees need water during the dry fall and winter months to keep the needles hydrated, happy, and healthy. However, some factors can dehydrate spruce roots; consider these when diagnosing the problem. If you have been using de-icing salts and excess fertilizer around the home, this can cause or add to the off-color because they dehydrate roots. A girdled root reduces the amount of water reaching the needles, and in turn, causes purple needles. Any activity that damages spruce roots also prevents them from absorbing water very well. If you suspect this may be your situation, attend to the issue immediately.
THE COOLEY SPRUCE GALL APHID: You will more than likely find these growths on the north and east side of the tree, they are a cone shaped light brown in color, and it is similar to a woolly aphid. They tend to be most active come April and May when new buds are springing. And while this does not affect the health of the tree, it is rather ugly. The insect is efficiently managed by spraying the underside of twigs to kill the overwintering stages in spring before the buds arrive.
SCALE INSECT: Small, but damaging scales, and one of the most insidious insect pests affecting landscape plants in Colorado. They like to spend their days silently removing sap from trees and shrubs and cause severe damage such as dieback of branches and occasionally killing the tree. These scales give the insects a lot of protection from the environment, as well as from many of the control sprays we use. These pests are hard to manage, but there are several soaps and oils that will help tremendously.
IPS BEETLE or BARK BEETLE: with recent droughts in the area these pests have taken over. They will usually attack environmentally stressed or weak and diseased trees and shrubs, but if an infestation is in the works, no greenery is safe. With 11 species in Colorado, they specifically attack mostly spruce and pine trees as their hosts. Other factors aiding the increase of the IPS beetle is the creation of fresh cut wood from forest homeowners that experienced fire damage or that are seeking to limit wildfire hazards. These beetles will breed in the cut wood, making the population numbers increase.
ZIMMERMAN PINE MOTH: Scots, Ponderosa, and Austrian pine, are mainly affected by this pest, and typically infested branches will break at the crotch where they join the trunk. You will see small grape-sized clustered masses on the tree.
With our lush forests and yards, it’s likely that there will be many tree diseases you’ll find in Colorado. But with due diligence and a company like A Touch of Class Tree Service, you will most definitely get a step ahead of these pests and enjoy a beautiful landscape all season long.