Rethinking Mulberry and other tree concerns

June 6, 2024 · 2 minute read
Rethinking Mulberry and other tree concerns

Over the past few weeks I have seen some similar issues among the trees in the area and thought I would share my list with you.  Although these are not new pests or new problems, they appear to be more prevalent this year.   Listed in no particular order:

Mulberry Fruit

This season has seen a bumper crop of mulberry trees all over Richmond.  I love to eat mulberry and so do my grandsons but when the mulberry fruit falls and gets all over dogs feet and patios, it can get tracked into your house and become a nuisance.  My only advice before you think about removal is to practice patience and hope next year will not be as bountiful.  Or, if you are bold and have the time, collect the fruit to eat right away or make some jam or wine.


Jumping Oak Gall Wasp

Check out Greg’s recent article on this pest for more details. . 

I have a white oak tree that hangs over my deck. I have noticed for over 20-years how it always gets them.  Some  years are worse than others and this is one of those years.  If you see a white oak tree with wilted and even black leaves it should be Ok, but it is stressed and efforts should be made to ensure there are no added stressors to the tree.


Fire Blight in Pear Trees

When I started my career as an Arborist in 1998, there seemed to be a lot more pear trees and a lot more fire blight.  I remember clients, neighbors and neighborhoods started to treat as soon as the pear trees began to blossom.  There were additional efforts made by arborists to mitigate the blight like treating their tools between cuts so as to not transfer fire blight from tree to tree.   Those days are gone, and so are a lot of the pear trees. You might have to google this one to find some good pictures but it’s basically blackened leaves or tips of branches with dead leaves.  Usually the result is an unattractive tree, not death. 


Powdery Mildew

Truetimber does not spray for this disease, but if you choose to treat it, I hear the best time is at bud break before you even know you are going to have a problem.  Most of the time this leaf disease is not harmful to trees but does cause your trees to look unsightly.  The most common trees affected are dogwoods, ash trees, lilacs, and in some years, white oaks.


Herbicide Damage

The above average rainfall this season has brought with it extra growth on the plants, including unwanted weeds. When not taking great care with herbicides, damage can occur to adjacent trees and shrubs.  I know it requires a lot of hard work, but when at all possible, try to pull or cut weeds before you jump for the sprayer. 

Dead Limbs in Trees

Last but not least, leafless limbs.  Most of the calls I receive this time of year involve dead limbs.  As the leaves have fully developed, now is the time we can more easily see the obvious.