It’s disconcerting to walk outside to look at your plants and shrubs and see their leaves looking spotty or see entire tree branches dying off. When plant disease strikes, it’s not easy to stop it unless it’s caught early through proactive practices like routine trimming and inspections.
In central Iowa, there are many types of common plant diseases that we see throughout the areas of Des Moines, West Des Moines, and Ankeny. Here are some of those diseases and what can be done to prevent them from overtaking your lawn and landscaping.
Oak wilt spreads in spring and can kill an oak within a few weeks, especially red oaks. The first signs of this disease are wilted leaves and leaves falling from the tree. This disease is caused by sap-feeding beetles who pick it up from one oak and take it to another, and it can also spread underground from root systems intertwining.
The best way to try to prevent oak wilt is to not cut any part of the tree during its growing season, which is typically from April to August.
If you notice needles on your pine trees starting to wilt and turn brown, then that’s a good indicator that your pines may have caught pine wilt. Pine wilt acts quickly, with rapid wilting and death of the tree. The disease is spread by beetles that bore under the bark of infected trees...