A Guide to 10 Common Tree Problems in Kingston, Ontario

Kingston Ontario Tree Diseases and Pests


Tree care is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy and beautiful landscape. In Kingston, Ontario, residents and businesses must be vigilant about various tree diseases and pests that can affect their greenery. This guide provides detailed information on common tree problems in Kingston, highlighting key issues like the Emerald Ash Borer, Oak Wilt Disease, Gypsy Moth infestation, and more. We’ll explore how to identify these problems, the impact they can have on your trees, and effective solutions to manage and prevent them.

1. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Identification: The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a destructive beetle native to Asia. It has a metallic green color and is about half an inch long.

Impact: EAB larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Infested trees usually die within 2-4 years.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Thinning or dying branches at the top of the tree
  • D-shaped exit holes in the bark
  • Increased woodpecker activity (they feed on EAB larvae)
  • S-shaped larval galleries under the bark

Management: Preventative treatments with systemic insecticides can protect ash trees. Infected trees should be removed to prevent the spread of EAB.


2. Asian Long Horned Beetle

Identification: The Asian Long Horned Beetle is a large insect with long antennae and a shiny black body with white spots.

Impact: This beetle attacks various hardwood species, including maple, birch, and willow, causing significant damage and eventually killing the trees.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Round exit holes in the trunk and branches
  • Sawdust-like frass around the base of the tree or in branch crotches
  • Oozing sap from wounds in the bark

Management: Infested trees should be removed and destroyed. Regular inspections and quarantines can help prevent the spread.


3. Oak Wilt Disease

Identification: Oak Wilt is a fungal disease that affects oak trees. It spreads through root grafts and beetles that carry fungal spores.

Impact: The disease causes leaves to wilt and turn brown, starting at the top of the tree and moving downward. It can kill red oaks within a single season and white oaks over several years.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Sudden leaf discoloration and wilting
  • Dark streaks under the bark
  • Fungal mats under the bark that produce a fruity odor

Management: Avoid pruning oaks during the growing season to prevent infection. Infected trees should be removed, and root grafts between healthy and diseased trees should be disrupted.


4. Gypsy Moth Infestation

Identification: The Gypsy Moth is a notorious defoliator of hardwood trees. Caterpillars are hairy with blue and red spots.

Impact: Large populations can defoliate entire trees, weakening and making them susceptible to other stresses and diseases.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Caterpillars feeding on leaves
  • Egg masses on the bark of trees and nearby structures
  • Heavy defoliation, especially in spring

Management: Biological pesticides like Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are effective against young caterpillars. Physical removal of egg masses can reduce populations.


5. Dutch Elm Disease

Identification: Dutch Elm Disease is a fungal disease spread by bark beetles and root grafts between trees.

Impact: It affects elm trees, causing leaves to yellow and wilt. The disease spreads quickly and can kill mature trees.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Yellowing and wilting leaves starting at the top of the tree
  • Brown streaking under the bark
  • Dead branches and crown dieback

Management: Fungicides can protect healthy elms, and removal of infected trees is crucial to control the spread. Breaking root grafts can also help.


6. Anthracnose

Identification: Anthracnose is a group of fungal diseases that affect many deciduous trees, including sycamore, oak, and maple.

Impact: It causes dark, sunken lesions on leaves, stems, and fruits, leading to defoliation and reduced vigor.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Brown or black spots on leaves
  • Twig and branch dieback
  • Premature leaf drop

Management: Prune and destroy affected branches. Ensure proper tree spacing for good air circulation and apply fungicides as needed.


7. Fungal Infections

Identification: Various fungal infections can affect trees, causing symptoms like leaf spots, cankers, and root rot.

Impact: Fungal infections weaken trees, making them more susceptible to other diseases and environmental stresses.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Discolored or spotted leaves
  • Cankers on stems and branches
  • Mushrooms or fungal growth at the base of the tree

Management: Proper tree care, including appropriate watering, mulching, and pruning, can prevent fungal infections. Fungicides may be necessary for severe cases.


8. Insect Infestations

Identification: Insect infestations can vary widely, affecting leaves, bark, roots, and overall tree health.

Impact: Insects like aphids, scales, and borers can cause significant damage by feeding on tree sap, foliage, or wood.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Visible insects or larvae on the tree
  • Honeydew or sooty mold from sap-feeding insects
  • Holes in leaves, bark, or wood

Management: Use insecticides and natural predators to control insect populations. Regular inspections and early intervention are crucial.


9. Root Rot

Identification: Root rot is caused by various fungi that thrive in overly wet soil conditions.

Impact: It affects the root system, leading to poor nutrient uptake, decline in tree health, and eventual death.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Wilting and yellowing leaves
  • Reduced growth and vigor
  • Mushy or discolored roots

Management: Improve soil drainage and avoid overwatering. Infected trees may need to be removed, and soil treatment may be necessary.


10. Tree Pest Control in Kingston

Proactive Measures: Regular monitoring and maintenance are essential to prevent tree pest infestations. This includes:

  • Regular inspections by certified arborists
  • Timely pruning and removal of diseased or infested branches
  • Application of appropriate pesticides and fungicides
  • Promoting tree health through proper watering, mulching, and fertilization

Integrated Pest Management (IPM): This approach combines biological, cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods to control pests in an environmentally friendly manner.

Maintaining healthy trees in Kingston, Ontario, requires awareness and proactive management of common tree diseases and pests. By understanding the signs and symptoms of issues like the Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long Horned Beetle, Oak Wilt Disease, and others, you can take appropriate actions to protect your trees. Regular inspections, proper tree care practices, and timely interventions are key to ensuring the longevity and beauty of your landscape.

For professional assistance, consider contacting a certified tree service in Kingston. Experts can provide comprehensive tree care services, from diagnosis and treatment to removal and preventive care, ensuring your trees remain healthy and vibrant year-round. Call Kingston Tree Service today at 613-777-6441


Summary of 10 Common Tree Problems


Issue Signs Action Required
1. Emerald Ash Borer Thinning branches, D-shaped exit holes, S-shaped larval galleries, woodpecker activity Preventative insecticides, remove infected trees
2. Asian Long Horned Beetle Round exit holes, sawdust-like frass, oozing sap Remove and destroy infested trees, regular inspections
3. Oak Wilt Disease Wilting leaves, dark streaks under bark, fruity odor Avoid pruning during growing season, remove infected trees, disrupt root grafts
4. Gypsy Moth Infestation Caterpillars, egg masses, heavy defoliation Biological pesticides, physical removal of egg masses
5. Dutch Elm Disease Yellowing leaves, brown streaking under bark, dead branches Fungicides, remove infected trees, break root grafts
6. Anthracnose Brown/black leaf spots, twig dieback, premature leaf drop Prune affected branches, ensure good air circulation, fungicides as needed
7. Fungal Infections Discolored leaves, cankers, fungal growth at base Proper tree care, fungicides for severe cases
8. Insect Infestations Visible insects, honeydew/sooty mold, holes in leaves Insecticides, natural predators, early intervention
9. Root Rot Wilting/yellowing leaves, reduced growth, mushy roots Improve soil drainage, avoid overwatering, remove infected trees
10. Other Miscellaneous Pests Wilting/yellowing leaves, reduced growth, eaten foliage Integrated Pest Management