The Four Most Common Tree Diseases in Florida

Trees provide shade and beauty to our landscapes and play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Sadly, like most living things, they can fall victim to disease.

As an experienced Altamonte Springs tree service contractor, we’ve seen it all. Our experts have compiled a list of Florida’s four most common tree diseases and how to spot them. By watching for these signs, you can take action to save your flora before it’s too late.

1. Brown Spot Needle Blight

If you have longleaf pines on your property, watch out for brown spot needle blight. This fungal disease comes from Scirrhia acicola, and it can cause various symptoms, such as:

  • Dried or dead needle tips
  • Yellow or brown spots with a purple border on the infected leaf
  • Diseased needles have an “embossed” appearance

Control strategies include selective pruning and applying a copper-based fungicide. Consult with a professional to learn the best course of action for your trees.

2. Ganoderma

Ganoderma is one of the most common tree diseases in Florida. It enters through tissue wounds and attacks the root system, often causing death. Common symptoms of infected trees include:

  • Yellowing and wilting leaves
  • Trees losing their “luster”
  • Mushrooms or conks growing at the base of the tree or on the roots

There is no known cure for Ganoderma, so prevention is the best course of action. Keep your trees healthy by preventing root damage and promoting drainage.

3. Oak Wilt

Oak trees are some of the most prevalent trees in Florida, so it’s no surprise that oak wilt is one of the most common diseases we see. This fungus enters through wounds in the tree and clogs the xylem tissue.

Watch out for these symptoms if you have oaks on your property:

  • Dull leaves that look water-soaked
  • Yellowing or browning leaves that curl around the midrib
  • Bare branches from excessive leaf drop

Since it’s easy to confuse these symptoms with other diseases, it’s best to have a professional arborist inspect any suspected oaks. Early detection is key to saving these trees.

4. Fusiform Rust

The Cronartium Quercuum fungus is responsible for fusiform rust, primarily affecting slash pine, loblolly, and other native pine trees. Common symptoms include:

  • Infected tissue contains rusty discolorations
  • Cigar-shaped galls on the main stems
  • Yellowish blisters on the galls

This disease significantly weakens branches and stems, creating a safety hazard. One effective treatment involves removing the infected tree parts. Fortunately, a mature, healthy tree typically has no problem recovering from this disease.

Your Trusted Tree Health Experts in Florida

The myriad of common tree diseases in Florida can overwhelm even the most green-thumbed property owners. Fortunately, you don’t have to face these problems alone.

Ray’s Tree Service knows how to prevent and treat the most common tree diseases to keep your landscape lush and beautiful. Contact us at (407) 326-4019 to discuss your needs today. We also recommend reading more of our blog posts to learn more tips on how you can fix a leaning tree after a storm, among other helpful topics.


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Ray's Tree Service is happy to provide complete tree services in Sanford, Florida and the surrounding areas. We offer all kinds of tree services to meet your needs. We have been the region’s top-rated tree care company year after year because of our high-quality execution and competitive pricing. If you’re in need of fast and dependable tree services, give Ray's Tree Service a call!

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