What Are the Worst Types of Tree Disease in Australia?
Posted on: 14 February 2023
Trees play an important role in the Australian landscape, providing shade and food, controlling erosion, and supporting wildlife. Unfortunately, trees can become vulnerable to a wide range of diseases that are caused by bacteria, fungi, insects and even environmental conditions. Of all the known tree diseases in Australia, which are the worst, and what should you do if one of your trees is affected?
Phytophthora dieback is one of the most serious tree diseases in Australia. It is caused by a type of fungus-like organism called Phytophthora cinnamomi that grows on plant stems and roots and spreads through water, soil or infected plant material. This disease kills native plants from both above and below ground level, destroying root systems and causing leaf damage. Unfortunately, it can affect a very large number of species across the country.
Mycosphaerella Leaf Disease (MLD)
Mycosphaerella Leaf Disease (MLD) is a major problem for eucalypts across Australia. It affects all eucalypts, including Eucalyptus globulus (Tasmanian blue gum) and Eucalyptus viminalis (Manna gum). The disease attacks foliage directly or indirectly through bark or stem lesions and causes the yellowing of leaves before they eventually drop off the tree. MLD is particularly dangerous because it slowly weakens trees while reducing their ability to take up nutrients from the soil.
Cytospora canker is another destructive tree disease found throughout Australia. It is caused by a fungus, which enters trees through wounds caused by pruning, hail damage or insects. Infected trees will often show signs of wilting branches or dieback before eventually dying from a lack of nutrients. This is due to the fungal infection blocking water transport within the tree's vascular system.
How to Deal with the Challenge
Unfortunately, these are just three of the many types of tree disease across the country, and it's very hard to keep them in check. After all, these diseases can be transported by burrowing insects or newborn bacteria, or they even fly in the wind. Consequently, you never know whether one of your back garden trees will be affected, and it's important to keep an eye on them periodically to look for any tell-tale signs.
What to Do If You're Affected
If you come across a disease and it has progressed to an advanced stage, you may have no choice but to call in a tree removal service. Should it be necessary, they will remove the tree in question. This may stop the disease from spreading to other trees on your property.Share