Diseases That Target Pacific Silver Firs

Pacific silver firs are a pretty ornamental alternative to traditional firs for homeowners along the western coast of the United States or Canada. The silver fir gets its name from the soft, papery, silver-gray bark that makes the tree stand out from other firs while still retaining that Christmas-time look and scent.

If you are on the market for a Pacific silver fir or recently added one to your yard, there are a few tree diseases to watch for in order to keep your tree in optimal help. Calling in a landscape service company early can often save your tree from major cosmetic damage or even the need for tree removal.

What are some of the tree diseases that target this lovely ornamental tree?  

Annosus Root Disease

Annosus root disease is a vascular disease stemming from the fungus Heterobasidion annosum, which gets into the tree through bark previously damaged by weather or pruning accidents. The fungus travels through the tree's vascular system and infects and decays the roots.

Aboveground symptoms of annosus root include knobby conks growing near damaged bark and potential defoliation in the area near the conk. But root rot doesn't always come with any aboveground symptoms and the roots can rot away before you know what happened. The tree can then tip over in a strong wind.

If you have a tree service regularly maintain your trees, the likelihood of root rot fully progressing is smaller. The tree care workers can spot the symptoms and cut away damaged branches before the infection can make it to the roots. If the disease is only caught after the roots have rotted, you will need tree removal service.

Indian Paint Fungus

Indian paint is an umbrella term for tree diseases caused by the fungus Echinodontium tinctorium. The fungus causes large conks to form that grow underneath branches often near the site of previous damage. The conks are shaped like animal hooves and have dark gray or black spines on the outside and an orange interior. Conks will suck up nutrients from the tree and can cause dieback in needles and twigs as well as potential rot of the tree's heartwood.

If the Indian paint fungus is caught early during regular tree care, before conks have formed, pruning away any damaged branches to deny the fungus an easy entry point might save the tree. Trees with notable conk presence will likely need to be removed. If you have any questions about your particular situation, contact a landscape service like Boulder Works.