Tree Diseases That Strike Arborvitae – And How To Prevent Future Damage

Arborvitaes are a type of cedar tree found in the northern part of the United States. The tree has soft bark that ranges in color from ashy white to reddened brown, scaly yellow-green leaves arranged on twigs, and reddish brown cone-shaped fruit that grows in the spring. Arborvitae is an underused tree in landscaping and could provide a touch of visual interest to your yard.

Interested in owning an arborvitae tree? Learn how to spot some of the common tree diseases that strike this species so you can catch signs early, keep your tree healthy, and prevent future damage -- and know when to call in a tree service company for help.

Root Rot  

Root rot is a tree disease that can be caused by several different types of fungus. Characteristic symptoms start under the soil with the withering and darkening of the root structures. But once the root damage has begun, the tree's central nutrition system is compromised and above-ground symptoms begin to appear. Leaves and branches will start to wilt, shrink, and drop from the tree.

Call in a tree service, like Darrel Emel's Tree Service, when you see leaves prematurely wilting. The cause could be as simple as a fertilization issue in the soil or it could be a worsening case of root rot. If the root rot is caught soon enough, your tree service can treat the problem with fungicide and perhaps save your tree.

Roots that have already fully died have doomed the tree to death. The tree is also a risk of toppling over due to its lack of support, so you want to call in a tree removal service that can fully remove the arborvitae.

Tip Blight

Tip blight is another type of disease caused by fungus that can affect the arborvitae tree. There are a couple of versions of twig blight that can strike and each has slightly different symptoms.

Kabatina twig blight strikes only very young trees or branches. The small branches will develop ashy tips that make it look like the branch is dying from the outside inward. Small black dots can also appear on the branch tips.

Pestalotiopsis tip blight causes the ends to turn tan or black rather than ashy but will display a similar series of black dots as the kabatina variety.

Treatment for tip blight includes calling in a tree trimming service to remove any affected branches, then applying the appropriate fungicide.

Black Flagging

The exact cause of black flagging is unknown, but the disease results in the ends of young branches turning black or dark brown. The symptoms can resemble blight disease, but black flagging isn't a fungal disease and poses no real danger to the tree.

Call in a tree trimming service to test the tree for potential blight and, if the tests come back negative, simply trim away the branches affected with black flagging.