3 Common Tree Diseases to Look Out for in Ohio

Discolored leaves, fungus-laden bark, and oozing trees are some telltale signs of common tree diseases in Ohio. Finding a competent Cleveland tree service with specialists who can perform routine inspections on your property is essential for keeping your trees healthy so you can enjoy your yard.

If you don’t know how to spot the most common tree diseases in Ohio, this explainer from experienced arborists at Premier Tree Specialists will help you. Forests cover more than 30% of Ohio, and more than 99 different tree species thrive here. With so many different types of trees, finding infected trees will take more than examining spots on leaves or spotting powdery mildew on a few branches.

Oak Wilt

Hickory and oak make up the majority of trees on private and public lands in Ohio. A study from the USDA reveals that they’re two of the state’s most dominant tree species.

Oak wilt is one of the most prevalent causes of death among oak trees in Ohio today. According to a study from Ohio State University, oak wilt is present in over 88 counties, killing hundreds of trees every year. It’s a pathogen that blocks the moisture delivery system of oak trees, causing massive sections to lose access to water and wilt.

Oak wilt can infect every type of oak, but trees that belong in the red-black group, such as the southern red, Shumard oak, and pin oak, can die within a few weeks of exposure. Upon infection, leaves and branches will begin to dry in the upper canopy of an oak tree. You will detect a flag-like mosaic of browning and yellowing leaves.

According to the Department of Plant Pathology of OSU, 90% of oak wilt infections occur through root grafts between neighboring trees. Pruning wounds are also a significant cause of infestation as sap beetles spread oak wilt in the summer.

Thousand Cankers Disease

Thousand cankers disease or TCD is one of the leading causes of death among walnut trees in the Midwest. It’s a relatively new disease that arborists first encountered in Knoxville, TN in 2010.

The first cases of TCD in Ohio were in the southwest parts of the state, infecting pecan, black walnut, butternut, and Arizona walnut trees. A 2013 study from the Colorado State University reveals that black walnut and butternut trees are the most susceptible to TCD.

Thousand cankers disease causes infected trees to die slowly over 10 years. If a tree is infected, you will notice thinning on the upper crown of the tree and some foliage will turn yellow. As the disease advances, branches and twigs will die back, circular cankers will form on the inner bark, and tree tissue will die off. Walnut twig beetles spread TCD from one tree to another.

Beech Leaf Disease

Beech leaf disease is an informal term for a tree illness caused by an invasive nematode that affects American beech tree saplings. It prevents adult trees from producing healthy leaves and kills 90% of the saplings it infects.

The disease is found in 10 Ohio counties, causing over $225 million in environmental and economic damage. Its early symptoms are lack of bud production and deformed leaves on healthy-appearing trees. Today, no known cure exists for beech leaf disease, and scientists still don’t know how it spreads.

Call a Professional Arborist Today

If you suspect that trees on your property are infected with one of these common tree diseases in Ohio, call a professional arborist to prevent it from spreading. Learn more about plant health care today by contacting Premier Tree Specialists at 216-245-8908.


Premier Tree Specialists is a rapidly growing company with countless years of experience. We specialize in commercial and residential services providing a variety of tree care needs.

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Premier Tree Specialists

Pepper Pike, OH

Phone : 216-245-8908

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