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Tree Pests and Diseases

The urban environment can be stressful for trees, some varieties being more susceptible than others.  Once weakened by stress, trees are more likely to succumb to disease and insect damage.  Below are listed some of the more common pests in our area with links to Fact Sheets (and pictures) on the UMass Extension Green Info website. For a more complete listing, click here.


Cedar-Apple Rust Fruiting Structure on Juniper in Spring; photo from WVU, Kearneysville

Asian Longhorned Beetle, Photo by Bob Childs, UMass Extension

Asian Longhorned Beetle; photo by Bob Childs, UMass Extension


The Trees Are Good website of the International Society of Arboriculture provides more information about diagnosing tree health problems.

Mulch volcanoSome of the most damaging “pests” are lawn-mowers and string-trimmers, which can inflict serious wounds on trunks and surface roots.  Maintain a 2-to 3-inch depth of mulch within about 3 feet or more of the trunk to prevent most of this damage. Be sure to keep the mulch away from the flare of the trunk, so that it does not touch the tree’s bark. Don’t mound it around the trunk—mulch volcanoes can kill trees! Click here for additional  information about growing trees in turf.

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