Three Tree Diseases To Watch Out For In New York State

Trees can add beauty to your property, but like all living things, they are susceptible to certain diseases. Most tree diseases can be treated if you detect them early -- and even those that are not treatable are important to detect so you can have the infected trees removed and reduce the spread to other nearby trees. In New York State, these are some of the primary tree diseases to watch out for.

Oak Wilt

Oak trees are common in the State of New York, but unfortunately, so is oak wilt disease. It's particularly common in red oaks, but can infect white oaks as well. Signs of the disease include browning of the leaf margins, which slowly spread towards the inside of the leaf, along with early defoliation in the summer. As the disease becomes more advanced, the tree develops mats of fungus on its branches and trunk.

Oak wilt is not curable; it will claim the life of your tree once it is infected. The disease is spread by the oak bark beetle, which visits infected trees, picks up the fungus on its wings and body, and then deposits the fungus when it visits a healthy oak tree. So, if you suspect your tree has oak wilt, it's best to have it removed by a tree service so that it does not cause other nearby oaks to become ill, too.


This common fungal infection can infect most any species of tree. It causes the leaves and twigs to develop uneven spots, which are brown or black in color to begin with, but later become covered in pinkish fungal spores. The symptoms usually appear in the summer when the weather first turns hot and humid. 

Thankfully, anthracnose is a rather minor fungal disease. It won't typically claim the life of your tree on its own, but it is important to have it treated since it impairs the tree's immunity and may leave it susceptible to other diseases. Your tree care service will likely spray the tree with fungicides and may remove the most damaged branches.

Diplodia Tip Blight

This disease is common in evergreen trees in New York. It causes certain needles to turn brown and dry. At first, only the lower half of the tree will be affected, but then the disease will slowly move upward, turning the entire tree brown. 

If you detect diplodia tip blight early, your tree care service can spray the tree with fungicides and hopefully halt the upward spread of the fungus. It's important to do this before too much of the tree in affected, since without enough needles, the tree may be unable to harvest enough sunlight to sustain itself. For more information, visit a website such as