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Tree Pests and Diseases

Trees must deal with a significant number of invasive species ranging from possum damage to the thousands of different bacterial, viral and fungal diseases, that all disrupt, damage and can even kill your tree. Promoting plant health is a vital component of our services at Razor Blade Tree Specialists. A healthy tree not only enhances our urban landscape but can self-prevent secondary pests and diseases from becoming a problem in the future. Therefore,it is imperative to identify pest and diseases early, to implement control measures.


Here some examples of some of the most prolific diseases in Victoria:

Elm Leaf Beetle

The Elm Leaf Beetle (Pyrrhalta luteola) discovered in Victoria in1989 and is becoming increasingly more widespread within urban populations. Trees infected by this pest, can be severely defoliated which can cause stress and even death in some specimens.

Cypress Canker

Cypress Canker infects a specimenthrough spores (conidia) which are carried on the wind, in water droplets or by insects. Spores germinate in warm, moist conditions and infection occurs through fissures in the bark or through previous mechanical damage (e.g. pruning, animals or falling branches).The pathogen then girdles twigs, branches and the main trunk, interfering with the sap system and ultimately causes the foliage to die, leading to progressive death.

thumb_ArmillariaLuteobubalina (1)
Armillaria luteobubalina

Armillaria luteobubalina is the most aggressive and widespread of the six Armillariaspecies found in Australia. The crown of the tree will show gradual die back over a number of years, clusters of yellow fruiting bodies will appear at the base of the tree in autumn. The bark of the stem dies and becomes discoloured. Infected wood undergoes white rot, a decay process where the cellulose and lignin of the sapwood are both broken down, leaving the wood soft and stringy. Advanced infection can leave the tree structurally unsafe, with the root system, and lower stem rotten and prone to failure.


Unfortunately, in many cases there is not a lot you can do with trees infected with fungal diseases, that’s why it’s important to spot disease early so a management plan can be set up to try and control the disease. Prevention is the best cure and by carrying out good arboriculture practices you can minimize the chances of the tree becoming infected in the first place.