July 18, 2017

Common Tree Pests & Diseases in Dallas & Fort Worth Area

Most people in Fort Worth, TX prefer planting trees in their homes. While trees serve great for landscaping and aesthetic purposes, they require proper maintenance and care to thrive in their surroundings.

Trees across the world are prone to diseases and pest infestations. It may not be the lack of proper care that leads to these diseases and infestations, but when you overlook or ignore the symptoms of these conditions – you put your trees at potential health risks.

Tree maintenance in Fort Worth and Dallas area is quite similar to that required in the rest of the country. There are however, certain diseases and infestations that are more common in the trees found in different cities of Texas than everywhere else in the country.

Knowing what type of diseases and pests can damage your trees helps you deal with them better. The most common tree pests and diseases in Dallas and Fort Worth area include:

The Hypoxylon Canker

The hypoxylon canker affects a number of trees native to the region. Trees most susceptible to hypoxylon canker include the oak, pecan, sycamore, and elm. This disease is fatal for the tree and may end up killing it quite rapidly. The disease is characterized by the branch dieback, also known as the stag-head condition, where the upper most branches of the tree resemble the antlers on a stag’s head. These branches are usually leafless and dead.

The hypoxylon canker disease is a common occurrence during periods of drought. It attacks the trees already weakened by the environmental conditions. Trees with the hypoxylon canker disease cannot be cured. Symptoms of hypoxylon canker include sapwood decay, the bark peeling off of the branches and trunk, and dark-colored spores visible on parts where the bark peels off.

Unless you protect your trees with ample water and timely tending of wounds during the drought season, the only option you have is to acquire tree removal services in Dallas and Fort Worth area to remove the dying tree from your property.

The Oak Wilt

Like the name suggests, this is one of the most common diseases affecting the oak trees in Fort Worth. The disease can develop in almost any kind of oak. However, some oaks like the White, Chinquapin, Mexican, and Bur oaks are more resistant than others, such as the Red and live oaks.

The oak wilt disease can spread to other trees via the nitidulid beetles and the root grafts. This is one of the major reasons why we, at S & P Tree Service, encourage people to get professional tree maintenance services for root grafts in Dallas and Fort Worth. Professionals like us can timely recognize the disease and prevent it from spreading to other trees.

Symptoms of the oak wilt disease include the browning of leaves, the dropping of leaves, and when not controlled – the tree’s death.

The Fire Blight

Trees in Fort Worth also develop the fire blight disease. This is a bacterial disease that normally affects the fruit trees. Apple and pear trees are specifically susceptible to the disease. The fore blight disease causes the foliage and blooms of the tree to blacken, at a rapid pace. Another symptom of the disease is the bending of shoot tips into a hook-like shape. Sometimes, the fire blight disease causes the development of cankers on the blackened branches too.

These cankers safe keep the bacteria during winter, which then oozes out in with arrival of spring – spreading to other parts of the tree and to the ones nearby. To stop the fire blight disease from spreading, call 469-789-6775 for specialized tree trimming services in Dallas and Fort Worth region.

The Bacteria Leaf Scorch (BLS)

This is one of the less occurring tree diseases in Fort Worth. The bacteria leaf scorch spreads via insects like leafhoppers that carry the disease causing bacteria from the affected trees to other. Trees that develop the bacteria leaf scorch have the flow of water between their roots and leaves choked. Trees like the elms, oaks, boxelders, and sycamores are all vulnerable to the disease.

The disease is characterized by the appearance of a yellow band between green tissue and the scorched tip of the leaves. This symptoms usually becomes evident by late or midsummer. The disease may also cause early defoliation of the leaves or a branch dieback. This disease makes the affected trees highly susceptible to other infections or pests as the weakened tree becomes an easy target.

Our tree maintenance teams working in Fort Worth and Dallas region can help you suppress the infections marring your trees. Get in touch with us today!


For better understanding, we have categorized insects and pests into broader categories. You can find the following crawlers infesting your trees in Fort Worth.

The Stipplers

The stipplers eat leaves. Lace bugs and spider mites are common types of stipplers. They damage the leaves and may cause them to fall.

The Suckers

These insects are smaller in size. They can usually be seen on the leaves and twigs of the tree, leaving a sooty mold and dew under it.

The Chewers

You can easily spot a chewer infestation with the missing leaf tissues. These crawlies leave the leaves on your trees looking like skeletons. Chewers likely to be found on trees in Fort Worth include the bag worms, the juniper bed worms, the tent caterpillars, and the fall web worms.


These insects bore small holes into the trunk of your trees – hence, the name. The act usually leads to a tip dieback that adversely impacts the overall health of the trees.

The Gall Makers

These insects are the artsy kind. They go through the pain of making abnormal bumps or balls of leaves and twigs all over the tree. The most common gall makers found in Fort Worth are the hackberry nipple gall and the oak apple gall.

If you ever notice any of the above mentioned problems with your trees, don’t think twice. Give us a call at 469-789-6775 for professional tree services in Dallas and Fort Worth area. We even respond to 24/7 emergency calls.