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Virginia is home to abundant forests, which means it is susceptible to high rates of tree disease. This affects wildlife conservationists and park services as well as residents and property owners. Virginians should be vigilant and learn to identify the signs of tree disease. Additionally, they should have a professionally insured tree service to call when they need infected or dead trees removed. 

Timber Works Tree Care is a highly qualified tree service that offers tree removal services to homeowners and businesses throughout Nokesville, VA, and Northern Virginia. We also perform stump grinding, land clearing, construction site preparation, and more. If you want to clean up your landscape, get rid of dead or infected trees, or determine whether tree disease is present on your property, call Timber Works Tree Care.

Below, we describe the symptoms and effects of recently developing tree diseases that you should watch out for:

Four Dangerous Tree Diseases To Watch Out For

Bacterial leaf scorch (BLS)

BLS is a chronic tree disease spread by a bacteria strain known as Xylella fastidiosa. It can infect numerous tree species through the vascular system, where it constrains the movement of water throughout the tree. 

BLS has infected multiple species of oak, sycamore, American elm, oleander, and mulberry trees. Notable symptoms of this disease include: 

  • Browning on the outer edges of leaves
  • A ring of red, yellow, or orange inside the brown – making the leaf appear “scorched”


Needlecast refers to a group of fungal diseases that cause discoloration and needle loss among conifers (such as pines). Trees infected with a Needlecast disease don’t die but, instead, lose their vitality and become vulnerable to pests and other issues that cause death. Symptoms include: 

  • Browning needles
  • Heavy needle drop 

These symptoms usually become apparent during the mid-summer season. 

Verticillium wilt

Another severe disease that affects the vascular system of a tree, verticillium wilt occurs when one of two kinds of fungus living in the soil–either Verticillium albo-atrum or Verticillium dahlia–infects a tree’s roots or branches through wounds on their surface.

While it is also known as “maple wilt” because maple trees tend to be most susceptible to this disease, verticillium wilt affects a variety of tree species, as well as shrubs and other plants. Once the fungus infects a tree, it will block the tree’s vascular system and slow down the transportation of water and nutrients throughout the tree’s body. 

Verticillium wilt produces symptoms such as:

  • Leaf wilt
  • Brown or black discoloration in the leaves and trunk
  • Stunted growth
  • Blooming late in Spring
  • Losing leaves early in Fall

After infection, these symptoms will slowly appear and gradually worsen until the tree’s death.  

Fire blight

This disease is yet another caused by infection from a bacteria known as Erwinia amylovora, and is known to be incredibly destructive and difficult to manage. Tree species including mountain ash, pyracantha, hawthorn, as well fruit trees such as pear and apple trees, are among the most susceptible to this disease.

Infections tend to spread most during the spring as the warmer weather allows for the bacteria to rapidly reproduce. The blight bacteria quickly infect a tree through shoots, fruit, and tree blossoms.

Fire blight also gets its name from the burnt appearance of an infected tree’s leaves. Other symptoms include: 

  • Wilting and discolored blossoms 
  • Branch ending bending over 
  • Dark and shriveled fruits with lesions on them
  • Black bark with cankers with ooze appearing during humid weather   

Fire blight, among other blights that have appeared within Virginia, along with the previously mentioned diseases, is difficult to control and manage, especially for those inexperienced with tree and plant care. 

Insured Tree Service Nokesville VA

If you notice symptoms of disease among your trees, be sure to contact a professional from an experienced insured tree service to come and assist in taking steps toward treating these diseases and protecting your local environment.

Timber Works Tree Care: Highly Trusted Insured Tree Service in Nokesville, VA 

Timber Works Tree Care is dedicated to helping our customers throughout Nokesville, VA, and Northern Virginia protect their landscapes and forestry. We are a team of highly experienced and well-trained professionals that make up a trustworthy insured tree service for the numerous residential and commercial clients we’ve worked for. From simple tree removal and stump grinding to organized site preparation and forestry mulching, we do all that can be done to ensure your property and its trees are taken care of. Contact us at (540) 692-9606 today to learn more about services and get a free estimate.

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