What are Common Tree Problems in Spring?

Date May 17, 2022

Author TreeNewal Staff

Springtime is the time of the year when trees begin their rapid growth. This makes them more susceptible to diseases and pests. In this blog, we will touch on some of the common tree problems that your tree may experience in the spring.


Anthracnose is a common fungal disease of shade trees that results in leaf spots, cupping or curling of the leaves, and early leaf drop. Some of the more common characteristics include small, yellowish watery spots that enlarge rapidly to a brownish coloring. Worst case scenario from this disease can lead to the death of a plant if the lesions develop in the stem.

Did you know: Anthracnose isn’t harmful to humans, but it can wreak havoc on turfgrass.

Heart Rot

A fungal disease that attacks mature trees and causes rot in the tree trunks and branches. This is caused by the fungi infiltrating wounds through the bark due to improper pruning, fire damage, dead branches, insects, or animal damage. If this disease spreads too far along with the vascular system, it can lead to the tree’s death. There are several ways to prevent heart rot. One is to choose disease-resistant varieties of trees. Another is to plant your trees in well-drained soil. Note though, that you should also avoid over-watering your trees, as this can make them more susceptible to heart rot.

If you think your tree may have heart rot, it’s important to contact a certified arborist. Trust us. We know a good one!

Fire Blight

A contagious disease that can infect blossoms and cause the dieback of branches from cankers. What makes blight a problem in the springtime is its ability to thrive in warm conditions, which are ideal for its growth. This disease can spread host to host by animals coming into contact with it. There is no set cure to fire blight. All you can do is manage it. This can be done by pruning off the affected limbs and foliage. If you need more assistance with this, please get in contact with our certified arborist.

Note: When cleaning garden and landscape equipment after handling a disease such as Fire Blight, make sure to apply a bleach solution. Trust us. We are the experts!


If you start to notice that your leaves are turning brown or the stems are falling, then your tree has been affected by bagworms. For bagworms, trees are their food source, and if they continue to eat, your tree will not receive their proper nutrients to stay healthy and live. To help prevent bagworms, you will need to apply a pesticide in the beginning of the spring. If you notice bagworms have invaded your landscape, contact us to help control the issue.


Cankerworms are a common pest of trees during the spring. They can cause significant damage to trees by eating the leaves. Trees with these pests will have large areas of chewed-up leaves. The leaves will leave small holes in them where the cankerworms have fed. If you see these signs on your tree, it is important to take action to prevent further damage. Cankerworms can be prevented by using pesticides or by removing them physically from the tree. Pesticides can be effective at preventing cankerworms, but they must be applied before they start feeding. Once the feeding has begun, it is difficult to control them.

Sawfly Larvae

These large, leaf-eating pests look like big, green caterpillars, but they’re actually not caterpillars and are more like a wasp. They love to eat leaves, and some species even eat pine needles. They can quickly appear in very large numbers and strip a tree of its leaves. If you find them on the ground beneath the tree or crawling back up the trunk toward the leaves, call an ISA Certified Arborist for help!

Prevention Care

The best preventative option you can offer your trees or shrubs is by being consistent and providing the proper care all year long.

Controlling Pest and Disease All Year Long

As you may know now, there will always be a season for pests and diseases to spread. To help control these issues from happening is by keeping your trees, shrubs, and plants healthy by remaining proactive.

If you need advice or assistance with What are Common Tree Problems in Spring, get in touch with the ISA-Certified Arborists at TreeNewal and enjoy tailored tree care advice.

To learn more about What are Common Tree Problems in Spring?, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams

at (817) 592-6846 or send us a message.

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