As Arborists in South-East Queensland we come across many types of pests and disease that are negatively affecting trees in the area from borers to various fungus. Our experienced Consulting Arborists’ job is to diagnose the problem and then come up with an effective solution to eradicate it. Pests and fungal diseases can cause a variety of problems such as failure to thrive, lack of growth, leaf discolouration, poor canopy cover to name a few. If undetected or left untreated trees can be severely damaged or sadly even die.
Signs that Your Tree Might Have Pests
- Presence of frass (sawdust)
- Damaged or lifted bark, and ring-barking (girdling)
- Exit holes
- Cracking and swelling
- Leaking sap
- Withered branch tips.
- Jagged or ripped leaf edges
- Reduced leaf area
- Dieback in young leaves
Here are a few of the most common pest and diseases found on our local trees in the greater Brisbane area- from borers and stem borers to leaf miners and fungal diseases.
Starting from the Ground Up
Brown Root Rot Phellinus noxius
This tree pathogen is a brown root rot that causes the roots to decay so severely that the tree’s water and nutrient supply are cut off, ultimately causing them to fail and die. If not treated
Facts about Phellinus noxious fungus.
Here are some interesting facts about this problematic pathogen:
- Known to affect over 200 species of tree from over 100 genera.
- Occurs along the east coast of Australia from Cape York to northern NSW.
- Is highly invasive and difficult to control.
- Wood becomes light, friable and honeycombed in the advanced stages of decay.
- In young trees wilting is followed by rapid death.
- In older trees progression can be slow, and trees may take many years to die.
Borers are the most common pest problem that our Consultancy team comes across in this area. Borers are insects, usually beetles or clearwing moths that lay their eggs inside or on trees. Their larvae feed on the living tissue of wood, which weakens the tree to the point where over time the branches break. They are more likely to attack stressed trees so therefore making sure trees are well maintained and kept healthy are essential from preventing borer attacks.
Poinciana Looper Moth (Pericyma cruegeri)
Heritage Tree Care’s consulting Arborist David Norton has noticed an increase in cases of Poinciana looper moth in the wider Brisbane area, with Poincianas (Delonix regia) being a common tree in the area. The caterpillars completely strip the leaflets from the compound leaves of Delonix, leaving only the central midribs of the leaflets. In severe attacks, entire trees are defoliated but, if healthy, they recover quickly.
List of Pests ad Diseases
A larger list of pests and diseases that are prevalent in Queensland can be found here:
How to Avoid Pests and Disease in Trees in Queensland.
- Give your plants and trees optimum growing conditions make sure they have enough light, water and preferred soil type. Insects and diseases are attracted to unhealthy, stressed plants so take good care of them.
- Maintain a healthy soil by adding organic matter to improve soil structure, nutrients levels and water-holding capacity. Add organic fertilizer to supplement if necessary.
- Be aware of the signs and keep an eye out as early intervention will give the best chance of success.