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Tree Diseases and Insect Control

Serving Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Oakville and Surrounding Areas

There are a variety of different tree diseases and insects that can cause serious damage to trees that can result in a potentially dangerous and expensive situation for both people and property. While in some situations the tree will need to be removed, there are many different treatment options that could be available.

The most important step in treating an unhealthy or diseased tree is to identify the cause of it. Sometimes, you can have a diseased tree and an insect infestation. It is important to have a trained arborist to correctly identify the source of the problem as there are a huge variety of both insects and diseases.

At Rooted Tree Service, we have experienced arborists that have all of the latest training and education to identify the root cause of a tree’s affliction. Our experts can prescribe the appropriate solution for whatever problem you are having. Whether it is a pest control issue, monitoring, selective pruning, or a total manual removal, we can get your tree and property back to looking beautiful.


The most recent and the most common tree diseases in Ontario:


Emerald Ash Borer

With it’s dark green exterior and bullet shape, this beetle is able to lay it’s eggs in the cracks and crevices within the bark of the tree. Responsible for killing millions of Ash trees throughout southwestern Ontario, the larvae burrows into the bark cutting off the water and the nutrients to the tree. This causes the death of the tree within two years and effects every type of Ash tree (except mountain ash which is not actually an ash).

Detection:Mature beetles can be seen in the summer from early June into late August. Signs include holes in leaves, yellow foliage, dead branches, thinning top crowns, and bark cracks. If you peel back the bark of the tree, you are often able to see the larvae.
Treatment:The right insecticide can save a tree with low to moderate infestation symptoms. Because of expensive yearly treatments it is important to make the decision to treat with the value and the health in the tree in mind. Our experienced arborists can help you with these options.
Emerald Ash Borer News Alert!Toronto has changed the bylaws associated with this insect infestation and the removal of the infected tree. You are no longer required to get a permit to remove Emerald Ash Borer and instead can get a verbal permit via Toronto Info Line(#311). For more info on change in city bylaws visit: YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT A POTENTIAL EMERALD ASH BORER INFESTATION, CALL ROOTED TREE SERVICES FOR A FREE ASSESSMENT, TREATMENT OPTIONS AND A FREE QUOTE.


Asian Long Horned Beetle

Native to North-East Asia, this destructive insect is a serious threat to all hardwood trees throughout North America including the maple tree. The larvae are actually more dangerous then adult beetles because the larvae tunnel through the wood and disrupt the vascular tissues creating fungal growth. This cause structural weakness in the tree and causes branches to fall and may result in tree death.

These beetles prefer the smooth barked upper crowns of young healthy trees but they still attack older stems and even the surface roots of more mature trees. Usually, these trees die within a short time. The most susceptible to infestation by the Asian Long Horned Beetle are maple, birch, horse chestnut, willow, poplar, elm, hackberry, mountain ash and london plane.

Detecting Infestation:Mature beetles start emerging in the early summer in May into late October with their peak being in July. Exit holes from 1.5-2 cm in diameter up to larger are the signs of the tree being infested. Sap can often be seen oozing from the holes with course sawdust on the lower branches or on the ground right below. Dead and dying limbs along with yellowed leaves are as well a sign.
Treatment Considerations:Fast treatment and total eradication of the infection is required. There are options such as quarantines, insecticides, and complete removal of the tree.IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT A POTENTIAL ASIAN LONG HORNED BEETLE INFESTATION, CALL ROOTED TREE SERVICES FOR A FREE ASSESSMENT, TREATMENT OPTIONS AND A FREE QUOTE.


Oak Wilt Disease

A serious disease of the oak tree, oak wilt is caused by a fungus infection. This attacks the watering conducting system, causing the branch to wilt and die. Infecting oak trees through the roots that are grafted between infected and healthy trees, the oak wilt fungus moves quickly. It is also spread by groups of sap and bark eating insects that are attracted to open wounds on oaks throughout the spring and summer.

Detecting Disease:The symptoms of this disease are slightly different in red and white oak trees.

  • Red oak group:Death of the entire crown, from the sides all the way to the top. The leaves turn yellow to brown from the tips to the margins. Total leaf drop within one year of infestation. Most trees die quickly within one year.
  • White oak group:Localised dieback of one or more branches. Leaves look as if they have been water soaked and are often dark green to tan and often remain on dead branches. Death of the entire tree in white oaks is rare but it does happen occasionally within a few years.
Treatment Considerations:Early detection is the single most important step in preventing the spread of this disease. If an infection is discovered in the tree, there are options available including the digging of trenches between it and other species that are prone to infection in order to prevent the root transmission. An infected tree should not be immediately cut down or the oak wilt disease could migrate down to the roots and increase the risk of passing it to nearby trees. Professional removal is the only option if removal is needed to prevent the other trees from infection.IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT POSSIBLE OAK WILT DISEASE, CALL ROOTED TREE SERVICES FOR A FREE ASSESSMENT, TREATMENT OPTIONS AND A FREE QUOTE.


Gypsy Moth

The European Gypsy Moth was first introduced in 1869 in the United States during a failed attempt to start a silk industry. Now it has become quite establish throughout Ontario. These caterpillars are able to feed on over 500 different species of trees including both deciduous and coniferous while being transported by the wind. The stress the tree experienced from defoliation from the Gypsy Moth can cause death within a few years. A single caterpillar of this species can eat an average of one square metre of foliage prior to going into the cocoon stage.

Detecting Infestation:Finding egg masses in the easiest and clearest way to identify the Gypsy Moth Infestation. Present from late July until May when they hatch, they are 3/4 inch long tan ovals that look like felt or velour. Tiny at first, the little caterpillars become easy to identify when they are half grown with red and blue dots on their backs. A mature Gypsy Moth caterpillar is 1.5-2.5 inches long. Male moths are smaller then females, with a short wingspan of 1.5 inches and has light tan to brownish wings. The female moth is white with a 2.5 inch wingspan. Despite being larger, the female moth cannot fly.
Treatment Considerations:There are a variety of treatments that are available including egg mass scrapings, caterpillar removals, pheromone traps, and biological pesticides.IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT A POTENTIAL GYPSY MOTH INFESTATION, CALL ROOTED TREE SERVICES FOR A FREE ASSESSMENT, TREATMENT OPTIONS AND A FREE QUOTE.


Helpful links:
Common tree diseases in Ontario


Some of the work performed in arboriculture is very hazardous, and should only be conducted by experienced arborists, with the proper training, and equipment.
Did you know the homeowner is responsible for accidents that happen on your property?
This is why you should always ask to see your arborist’s Proof of Insurance Certificate and WSIB Clearance Certificate.
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