Tree Alerts

12 June 2023

Ornamental Trees Affected by Drought

The drought over the past year is causing extreme stress in ornamental trees: Magnolias, Japanese maples, all maples, trees planted within 2 years. Any tree that has predisposing factors such as: root loss due to construction, Phytophthora root rot, trenching, and landscaping fabric with mulch on top, are particularly vulnerable. Deep soak watering is necessary for these trees. One cycle from an irrigation system is not sufficient to sustain trees in need of irrigation.

For more information on how to set an irrigation system, please see our articles on watering during a drought.

10 June 2023

Vascular Fungal Infection in Cedar Elms, Autumn Blaze Maples and Red Maples

A vascular fungal infection is affecting cedar elms, Autumn Blaze maples and red maples. We have noticed several characteristic symptoms: limbs die quickly, leaves brown rapidly but remain on the tree. In the maples, the bark may split slightly where the fungus is present. There will also be black areas in the vascular system where the fungus is present.

We are waiting on lab results for the name of the fungus.

10 May 2023

Ornamental or Bradford Pears Being Attacked by Fire Blight, Bacterial Disease

Bradford pear with fire blight

Every few years, we get a lot of Fire Blight in ornamental pears in Denton County. The disease is caused by a bacteria and enters into the tree’s tissues via open flowers. So, the conditions have to be just right for a tree to get infected flowers open, high humidity, and the presence of the bacterial spores. Pollinating insects carry the disease to the flowers.

To read the full article, click here: Fire Blight and Ornamental Pears.

29 April 2023

Magnolias Losing Above Normal Amount of Leaves This Spring

This spring, the magnolias in Denton County are losing an above normal number of old leaves.  Magnolias “molt’ or shed older leaves in the springtime and can look a little think during this time. However, this year (2023) the magnolias are shedding a lot of leaves, and the trees look more yellow and thin than normal.

Magnolia Denton County 2023 showing signs of freeze damage.

Our theory is that the extreme cold snap that occurred on December 22, 2022 affected these trees, possibly damaging vascular tissues in the leaves. The temperatures got down to 8-10 degrees after a relatively warm fall and early winter. The trees seem to be shedding the leaves instead of the leaves dying and hanging on to the tree. This is a good sign.

We will be monitoring the magnolias this year. We will update if we understand more of what has happened to them or determine that a disease is involved in what we are seeing.

11 October 2022

Sticky Substance Dripping From Trees Is “Honeydew” From Aphids

Insects called aphids (and some scale species) suck on plant sap and secrete a liquid we all know as honeydew. Honeydew is insect waste. It is harmless to the tree, but can create a mess on cars and other property near an infested tree.

For more information: What’s That Sticky Stuff Coming From My Trees? by Scott Geer, ISA Master Arborist.

22 September 2022

Hackberry Trees Being Defoliated By Moth Larvae

Hackberry trees are being hit hard by moth larvae. The small green caterpillar eats the flesh of the leaves, creating a skeleton-like look to individual leaves. While the trees might turn brown and look like they are dying, they, in fact, are not.

For more information: Hackberry Trees: Dying or Under Attack? by Scott Geer, ISA Master Arborist

10 May 2022

Pine Trees Seem to Be More Susceptible to Attacks from Insects

Pine trees in the North Texas area seem to have been affected by boring beetles more often recently. It is suspected that the hard freeze of February 2021 weakened most of the pine trees. The pine trees have used a lot of energy to recover the foliage they lost last year, leaving them susceptible to attacks from insects.

What to look for:

  • Any browning or “flagging” of the limbs.
  • A bunch of Tiny pinholes in the bark
  • Woodpecker activity

For more information: Pines in Decline? by Scott Geer, ISA Master Arborist

1 March 2022

EAB – Emerald Ash Borer Spreading in North Texas

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was first spotted in North Texas in 2018. The insect can kill an ash tree in 2 – 3 years. Management is possible. To learn more about symptoms, treatments and control measures, please see other articles on this site:

Live in Denton County, Texas? Contact Tree Shepherds. Our ISA Certified Arborists can help you with all of your tree care needs.