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Steps to Take to Save a Diseased Aspen Tree

Aspen trees, known and loved for their golden leaves, are commonly grown in mountainous areas as they thrive better on highlands. Aspen trees need plenty of sunlight, which makes high mountains the best place for them to grow. During recent times, because of the beauty, they add to the landscape in fall with their golden orange leaves, people have started to grow them domestically as well. However, the conditions are not always suitable and it leads to the development of many diseases that can harm the tree’s vitality.

Here are some common diseases, which are found in aspen trees, along with the ways to treat them. The domestic plantation of aspen trees has increased in recent times. The aspen tree is afflicted by many diseases, though not all are fatally harmful. This post lists a few common aspen tree diseases, and ways how to treat them.

Iron Chlorosis – this happens when the tree is unable to get an adequate amount of iron from the soil. The lack of iron leads to drop in chlorophyll production in the leaves. One common symptom of this disease is yellow leaves with green veins appearing on them. Dry conditions, root stress, and compaction of soil can worsen the disease.

Treatment – Apply iron chelate onto the soil, inject it into the trunks or get the foliar sprays, all these can help the tree come back to health.

  • Cytospora – When an aspen tree is under stress, it becomes prone to fungus that causes cankers, which affect the trunks and branches. To identify, look for an orange-colored oozing stain on the trunk or the bark.  

Treatment – Remove the infected bark and let the wound dry. Reduce the stress by pruning infected branches so they do not spread. Keep the watering regular and prune only in dry seasons.

  • Marssonina blight – This disease is caused a fungus that infects the leaves and the branches. This disease cause irregular defoliation and at time death of the tree. It reduces the growth of the tree. To identify, look for small brown circular spots on the surface of leaves. These appear in early summer or late spring and eventually, the spots merge and make big circular spots.

Treatment – Remove the foliage from under the tree as the fungus can spread through the fallen leaves. Remove the infected branches and shed the infected leaves. Use proper irrigation, preferably drip irrigation and reduce the plant density.

  • Oyster scale shell – A disease in which scale insects cover the branches of the trees. These insects appear like small bumps similar to the shape of an oyster shell. Hence, the name. The insects infect the tree by sucking the saps and the branches and depriving them of nutrients, and sometimes the area infected simply dies. In springs, small insects come out of these shells and go further on the tree to infect the rest of the area.

Treatment – Apply horticulture oils on the trunks and the branches use crawler sprays or scrap off the infected part. You can use insecticidal soaps as well. Apply the oils in the late summer. What the oil does is it suffocates the scale and controls the reproductions.