Tree Care Articles

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Here are some Tree Care Articles that we recommend:


  • Invasive Melaleuca Tree (Punk Tree):

    Article at the University of Florida IFAS entitled “Melaleuca An Invasive Tree of Florida” by BJ Jarvis, Pasco County Cooperative Extension Horticulture Agent

    Melaleuca An Invasive Tree of Florida
    This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons

    Melaleuca trees (Melaleuca quinquenervia), also known as punk trees or paperbark tea trees, are native to Australia.  In that country, melaleuca is well-known, planted in parks, valued by beekeepers, attractive to birds and bats.  In fact, because of development, melaleuca trees in some parts of Australia are the subject of conservation efforts.

    However, in Florida melaleuca is a pest, especially in the Everglades and wetlands where the trees grow into immense forests.  The problem with this is our native plants are being virtually eliminated.  Melaleuca grows in upland area (drier) as well as in completely aquatic locations.  The Everglades, the mostly treeless “river of grass,” in some places has become the “river of trees,” a completely alien habitat to the plants and animals that have evolved to live in the glades.  During the 50 years since its introduction into the state, melaleuca has taken over hundreds of thousands of acres of Everglades, threatening the very existence of this internationally known eco-treasure.

    Read more at University of Florida IFAS…>>

  • Oak Leaf Blister

    Article at the Pinellas County Extension entitled “Oak Leaf Blister” by Theresa Badurek, Urban Horticulture Extension Agent:

    It’s that time of year again, the leaves are green, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, the oak leaves are blistering. Ah spring! Wait a minute‐ oak leaves blistering? Yes, this is a common sight in the spring. Oak leaf blister (Taphrina caerulescens) is a common fungal leaf disease on oaks in Florida. It can affect any oak, but it seems more prevalent on laurel oak. This is a fungal disease that is more prominent after cool wet weather.

    The spores of this fungus infect newer leaves and cause the swollen g blister‐like tissue you see below:

    Oak Leaf Blister
    Oak leaf Blister on Laurel Oak leaves.
    Photo: Peggy Kane, Martin County Master Gardener.

    Read more at the Pinellas County Extension…>>

  • Laurel Wilt Disease

    Article at the Pinellas County Extension entitled “Laurel Wilt Disease in Pinellas County” by Theresa Badurek, Urban Horticulture Extension Agent:

    Laurel Wilt Disease in Pinellas County

    Some of the leaves on trees in Pinellas County are changing colors, but it’s not so pretty.

    Unfortunately we are seeing an increase in the number of bay trees ( Persea spp.) pp ) being hit by the deadly laurel wilt disease. Trees in the Lauraceae family including redbay and swamp bay are susceptible to laurel wilt. This is caused by an insect/disease complex and spread by the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). See photos below of the beetle. This tiny little insect bores into the tree and farms a fungus (Raffaelea sp.) in the vascular tissue of the wood for its own feeding purposes. This fungal growth inhibits the circulation of water and nutrients in the tree and eventually leads to the death of the tree.

    Read more at the Pinellas County Extension…>>

  • Texas Phoenix Palm Decline

    Presentation provided by the Pinellas County Extension.

    Palm Decline Disease

    Lethal Yellowing (LY) is caused by a phytoplasm, a bacteria that has no cell wall.

    It is spread by a common planthopper in southern Floirda.

    At least 36 palm species have been documented with LY, but Cocus nucifera (coconut) is most often associated with this disease, followed by Adonidia merrilli (Christmas palm), Phoenix dactylifera (date palm) and Pritchardia species.

    View the PowerPoint presentation at the Pinellas County Extension…>>