Beautiful closeup of wild and tropical seagrape or Coccoloba uvifera tree green leaves on the coast with a little ocean water in the background on a sunny day in Florida.

Florida Tree & Shrub Diseases

Just like any living thing, trees and shrubs must be kept healthy in order to avoid sickness and disease. Although it is worth it, creating a beautiful landscape for your Florida yard can be both time and effort consuming. That is why maintaining the health of your plants is so important. When trees and shrubs are not cared for properly, the chances of them falling ill rises.

Plants that have not been maintained can end up becoming a health risk for you and your family, especially tall trees that have the potential to fall over and cause injuries if uncared for a long period of time. It is in the best interest of yourself, your family, and your entire neighborhood to care for trees and shrubs so that they do not become at risk for fatal diseases. Here are some things to look out for, your yard will thank you.

Stress

Yes, just like us, plants can become stressed. This causes the plant to become tired and physically weak. When a plant experiences too much stress and becomes rundown, it becomes more at risk for pests and diseases. This stress can be caught early on and taken care of so that it does not create any long term issues for your plants and your overall lawn.

In Florida, the most common issue for trees and shrubs is water stress. This occurs because of the lack of rainfall starting in February and lasting until June. The air drys out and damage occurs to landscape plants if they are not watered properly.

If you notice that your plants begin to wilt a bit, and the leaves begin to turn a slight yellow, then your plant is beginning to show the signs of water stress. The stress you see could also come from a number of other factors such as nutrient imbalances, floods, or man-made stressors such as construction damage.

Regardless of the cause of the stress, identifying and eliminating it as quickly as possible is the best way to avoid having your trees and shrubs become susceptible to diseases. Just as you would manage your own stressors in order to maintain your health, you must manage your plants as well.

Insects

Diseases in Florida trees and shrubs are often caused by pesky insects. Insects cause damage in trees and shrubs because they can dig holes into the bark and leaves and lay their eggs there. There are several insect species in Florida that are actually beneficial for trees and shrubs. The presence of the harmful insects drives those away and damage the delicate ecosystem of the plant.

Some of the more common insects that are harmful to Florida plants and should be taken note of are the snout beetle, the ash/lilac borer, and the bagworm. If you notice that holes are beginning to form on any of your plants, it would be extremely beneficial for your landscape to spray with insecticidal soap, or if the issue is extreme, call your local pest control.

Disease

If poor conditions have taken advantage of your plants and they have taken on a disease, there are treatment programs that can control the situation if it has not reached a certain point. If your tree or shrub has developed a fungus, there are fungicides sold at most local hardware stores that can treat the damage. Pruning and removing the damaged limbs or branches can also help speed up the healing process when combined with bleach solution. Calling a local arbor service is often the most effective way to get the best and fastest treatment for any diseased plants in your yard.

Prevention is absolutely the key to maintaining the health of your Florida trees and shrubs. By taking care of your landscape and not letting it become susceptible to stress, insects, and disease, you can save time and money. A healthy lawn and landscape can enhance the curb appeal and the overall value of your home. By putting in the time and effort into your lawn maintenance, it will cut down in time that you would have to spend on reversing any damage. Take care of your plants and remember that they are living just like you and need the proper upkeep to live a long, healthy life in your beautiful yard.

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