What’s wrong with my tree? Verticillium wilt

Verticillium wilt is a severe fungal disease

Verticillium wilt is a severe fungal disease caused by the fungus Verticillium dahliae. This fungus lives in the soil and can lay dormant for many years until the roots of susceptible plants, like maple trees, get close and causes the spores to germinate. The fungus then enters the roots, infecting the tree’s xylem and blocking its ability to carry water throughout.

Signs and symptoms of verticillium wilt

verticillium wilt

Because verticillium wilt can occur suddenly, it’s essential to keep an eye out for the most common signs and symptoms:

  • Sudden wilting on one side of the tree
  • Yellowing or scorched leaves
  • A decline in new growth
  • Discolored sapwood
  • The appearance of cankers on bark

Note that sometimes a tree may show minor symptoms, or none, over a long period, and it takes the tree years to die. In other cases, the tree can be affected in weeks.

Managing verticillium wilt

Managing verticillium wilt is difficult to control, as it lives in the soil. The best tool to combat it is to keep your trees healthy, plant them in the right spot, and have a professional prune away dead branches. Correctly applying organic mulch will help your tree’s roots retain healthy moisture levels and prevent extreme temperature changes.

If you suspect verticillium wilt, contact the ISA Certified Arborists at Hansen’s Tree Service. We will come to inspect your tree and provide a diagnosis, as well as a health care plan.

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