A Comprehensive Guide To Identifying and Managing a Diseased Tree Trunk

Do you know how to identify and treat diseased tree trunks before they spiral out of control? Frady Tree Care Specialists shares a brief guide below to explain how to identify and manage tree trunk diseases and why it’s important to do so. 

If you’d like help nurturing your trees back to health, this trusted tree care company in Charlotte, NC, is ready and waiting. Professional care can heighten your trees’ appearance and protect them long-term, so don’t hesitate to contact Frady Tree Care Specialists to learn more.

Why Tree Diseases Are a Problem

Your trees are exceptionally vulnerable to several diseases, all of which could drastically reduce their appearance, health, and life expectancy. Many of these diseases infect trunks, causing numerous issues, including premature death.

Although some garden enthusiasts can identify common leaf diseases like powdery mildew or needle disease, spotting a diseased tree trunk can be more complicated. However, once you understand how to identify tree trunk diseases, you can have an arborist treat them before the tree’s health declines beyond help.

Four Tree Trunk Diseases and How to Identify Them

Below are some common tree trunk diseases to watch for and their respective treatment methods.

#1 Rust

Rust is one of the most common evergreen diseases. It generates unsightly black, brown, and orange galls along a tree’s trunk, which kill young trees incredibly quickly and spread. The fungal disease often enters through tree wounds and can cause severe structural problems over time.

Spraying infected trees with a fungicide will eliminate the galls and prevent further infection. Neem oil and sulfur will also curb rust and help the tree recover.

#2 Canker

Canker is another fungal disease that enters trees through wounds, whether these wounds happen by environmental or human-made factors. The necrotic tendencies decay the infected regions. 

Most mature trees won’t die from the disease, but canker quickly kills newly developing plants. The canker infections also discolor tree trunks and cause growth deformities, with canker spots ranging in size. You can generally see them thriving in unhealthy trees with open wounds.

Unfortunately, most canker-infected trees will require removal. If it only affects branches, pruning diseased limbs may prevent it from spreading and promote recovery. However, an arborist would have to make a careful assessment to ensure the canker won’t spread to other trees nearby.

#3 Decays

Decays are slow-forming trunk diseases that take several years to set in. Like most trunk diseases, it enters through tree wounds and forms grotesque mushroom-like blemishes (called conks) along the trunk. Although decays aren’t fatal, they drastically weaken the tree and leave it susceptible to damage and other infections.

Decays are relatively easy to spot, as they form multiple conks. Pruning these conks won’t eliminate the problem—arborists use compartmentalization. The diseases take time to eradicate.

#4 Wilts

Wilt diseases are fatal to trees. They generate burnt leaves without triggering defoliation and form fungi inside the tree’s vessels that restrict crown water saturation. Tree species most vulnerable to wilt diseases include the following:

  • Mimosa
  • Oak
  • Dutch Elm

Don’t Wait Too Long To Address Tree Trunk Issues

Curbing wilt diseases and other issues is incredibly difficult. Pruning infected limbs and applying nitrate nitrogen fertilizer may promote recovery. However, if your trees contract a disease, it’s always best to seek professional care as soon as possible.

Contact Frady Tree Care Specialists for Top-Quality Tree Care in Charlotte, North Carolina

A diseased tree trunk requires care and tree nutrients to recover. The Frady Tree Care Specialists team has over 100 years of combined industry experience to give your trees just what they need.

Why not give us a call at (704) 644-2516? You’ll be amazed at what our arborists can do for your trees!


Frady Tree Care has the most reliable and professional tree services in the Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons & High Point, NC areas! Our team is a third-generation certified and fully-insured arboriculture firm. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we are the tree service experts you can trust.


Charlotte Office

8640 Charlotte University City Blvd.  Suite A3-241        Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Lexington Office

402 W. 4th Avenue,    Lexington, NC 27292
Phone : (336) 236-1006

Salisbury Office

1460 Henderson Grove Church Rd,
Salisbury, NC 28147
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Winston-Salem Office

1035 Shalimar Drive.      Winston-Salem, NC 27107
Phone : (336) 236-1006

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