The Most Common Tree Diseases in Metro Atlanta

diseased tree leaves in Atlanta

Disease is easily one of the most significant problems homeowners run into when it comes to the trees of their yardscape. Infection can be part of the natural aging process of a tree, or the result of injury or stress.

Regardless, a diseased tree is a big concern on more than one level. Obviously, we care about the well-being of the tree itself. Some diseases can be mitigated with the right treatment, which often includes addressing an underlying cause (such as poor soil drainage or drought stress). A pathogen may spread from one tree to another, or to other plants. And a diseased tree may shed branches or topple, threatening property as well as human life and limb.

Common Tree Diseases in the Metro Atlanta Area

There are many different kinds of diseases that can afflict our trees here in Greater Atlanta, caused by any number of fungal, bacterial, and viral agents and transmitted in a wide variety of ways. In this post, though, we’ll take a look at just a handful of the most frequently encountered.

The most serious are root-rot diseases, prevalent when a tree is growing in wet soil that fosters the causative soil fungi. The problematic dampness may be due to overwatering, naturally poor drainage, or any number of specific site factors, such as the presence of a nearby downspout or air-conditioning unit. Common fungi responsible for root-rot diseases in our area include Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Armillaria, the latter causing so-called Mushroom or Shoestring Root Rot often evidenced by dense mushroom clusters emerging at the base of an infected tree.

Mushroom or Shoestring Root Rot at base of tree

Root-rot diseases are definitely serious business: They can cause suboptimal growth, leaf-drop, branch dieback, and wholesale tree death.

Powdery mildew is another commonly seen fungal disease most prevalent in humid weather. It gets its name from the whitish film that develops on foliage and may plume off a shaken leaf. The ultimate effects may include stunted growth or death. Boosting air circulation is often the remedy, which may involve thinning foliage or removing nearby, in-crowding plants.

A disease closely associated with the Leyland cypresses that are so extensively planted around the Atlanta area is Seiridium Canker. This fungal malady often affects cypresses suffering from drought or heat stress during summer, and manifests as oozing bark cankers, yellowing or browning foliage, and branch dieback.

Other common tree diseases in Atlanta include bacterial wetwood, oak-leaf blister, and fire blight, which impacts certain fruit trees.

diseased fruit tree in Metro Atlanta

Atlanta Tree Removal & Disease Diagnosis From Excel Tree Care

It goes without saying that accurately diagnosing the specific affliction that a diseased tree is suffering from is essential to effective treatment. Often, branch removal or thinning may be involved; unfortunately, some conditions may warrant removal of the entire tree.

All of the above is work best left to the professionals because it can be extremely dangerous without the right skill and equipment. Here at Excel Tree Care, we can help assess diseased trees and, if necessary, remove specimens in a safe, leave-no-trace manner. Our services include 24/7 tree assistance throughout the North Atlanta Metro area.

If you’re concerned about a particular tree—or haven’t had your property’s trees generally evaluated in awhile, if ever—touch base with the Excel Tree Care team at (404) 964-6508 or by contacting us online, We look forward to hearing from you!