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If you have ever noticed unusual brown edges or a ring of orange, red, or yellow on a tree’s leaves, you may have come across a case of Bacterial Leaf Scorch. This tree disease restricts an infected tree’s ability to carry water throughout its vascular system. If you believe a tree on your property has BLS, call for emergency tree removal services to prevent the infection from spreading to surrounding trees.

A top-rated, affordable tree management and removal company, Timber Works Tree Care provides residential and commercial tree removal for folks throughout Winchester, VA. Clients rave about our professional demeanor and comprehensive options. Moreover, we cover our team members with Workers’ Comp and liability insurance to help protect them and our clients. For stump grinding, tree removal, and more services, contact us through our website or at (540) 692-9606!

Below, we explore the details of Bacterial Leaf Scorch:

What is Bacterial Leaf Scorch?

Bacterial Leaf Scorch  (BLS) is a creeping yet persistent disease that prevents a tree’s extremities from receiving sufficient water. The bacterium that causes it, Xylella fastidiosa, is carried by insects like leafhoppers, treehoppers, and spittlebugs, which feed on diseased and healthy trees.

BLS’s primary symptom is leaf decay, appearing as a red, yellow, or orange “halo” or brown margin on a tree’s leaves. This manifestation is known as leaf scorch or marginal leaf burn. While symptoms may appear on a few branches during the first several years of infection, they will spread to others eventually. 

When and Where to Look

The bacterium thrives as the weather warms up, and BLS symptoms tend to escalate and peak by late summer. Conversely, most strains of BLS suffer in the cold. As a result, the disease thrives best in moderate climates, though its oak tree strain is often cold-tolerant.

BLS is a widespread tree disease on the East Coast of the US, particularly between New Jersey and Florida, yet it also appears in Texas and California. Isolated occurrences have been documented in Midwestern states.

Common hosts for BLS include:

  • Oak trees (especially red, black, pink, scarlet, and southern red)
  • Sycamore trees
  • American elms
  • Oleander trees
  • Mulberry trees

Less common BLS hosts include:

  • Other oak tree species (bur, willow, and swamp white)
  • Red and sugar maples
  • Sweetgum trees
  • Dogwood trees
  • Olive trees
  • Pecan trees

Control and Treatment

To control and treat BLS, one must first determine whether it has truly afflicted your trees. Since BLS and heat stress cause similar symptoms, people often confuse one for the other. Expert analysis can identify the true cause, even if symptoms are not immediately obvious.

Annual treatments and pest control can mitigate symptoms. Finally, to avoid the large-scale spread of BLS around your property, any trees with advanced symptoms should be scheduled for emergency tree removal.

Timber Works Tree Care: 24/7 Emergency Tree Removal in Winchester, VA

At Timber Works Tree Care, emergency tree removal is accurate, efficient, and affordable. Our tree care professionals prioritize safety and possess the knowledge and experience to care for your trees the right way. We provide the best service quality to all of our clients in and around Winchester, VA. To get a free estimate, visit our website or call us today at (540) 692-9606.

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