Locust Tree Insects and Diseases

Locust tree diseases

Locust trees are beautiful structures to have in your landscape. The locust tree naturalized in the Appalachian Mountains, but now, it can be seen throughout North America. It has a reputation for rapid growth and developing robust thorns. It requires a lot of maintenance, and you need to watch out for the numerous insects and diseases that can overpower the foliage. Locust tree insects and diseases will run rampant if you are not careful, so here are the pests you should keep an eye on. At the first sign of trouble, do not hesitate to contact tree care experts such as Safari Tree to save your locust tree.

Insects

Honeylocust plant bugs tend to infest trees in late spring. This is a damaging type of plant bug that tends to be green in appearance. You can tell you have an infestation of these bugs when there is brown or yellow spotting on the leaves, and you may also notice injured foliage. Leaves may become twisted, so your main course of action is to apply chemical controls.

You also need to watch out for honeylocust borers. These look like beetles that are long-horned or metallic in appearance. They tunnel into the bark of these trees during their larval stages. They usually lay their eggs in June, and they will only attack trees that are already stressed from disease or drought. Borers will find existing cankers to make their way further into the tree, and you will need to apply supplemental insecticidal controls to manage the rapidly growing population.

Blister beetles will attack locust trees in droves. They are ash-gray in appearance, and they will cause extreme defoliation over various components of the tree. Infestations usually occur at the end of June or beginning of July. Similarly to any of the other insects, the best way to deal with these is with insecticides. Other common types of insects to protect your locust tree against include:

  • Cottony maple scales
  • Eriophyid mites
  • Honeylocust spider mites
  • Honeylocust podgall midges

Locust Tree Diseases

Black locust tree trunk

Locust trees are susceptible to several different diseases. The fungus can impact any tree, and with locust trees, you really need to look out for verticillium wilt. This is a fungus that enters the tree through the roots. The main issue with this disease is that it remains asymptomatic at first. However, over time, you will notice leaf curling, yellow or red leaf coloring and wilting branches. Wilting generally occurs on only one side of the tree, and it may even die suddenly.

Locust trees can sustain serious damage from the formation of cankers. These are easy to spot because dead spots will appear all of the bark of the trunk and branches. Cankers kill bark in all of the affected areas, and they can threaten the tree’s life. Cankers decay wood, which means the tree becomes more vulnerable to ice, heavy snow and extreme winds. The best way to avoid cankers is with preventative measures, such as annual fertilization, maintaining suitable soil moisture and proper watering.

Finally, wetwood is a serious disease that is associated with several different varieties of bacteria. Once a locust tree has this disease, the wood will turn into a yellow-brown color. Additionally, this area will feel wetter than usual. It is also possible for it to ooze slime. During the winter, the wood will crack, and the interior of the tree will sustain damage, resulting in splitting and warping. There is no way to effectively treat wetwood.

Protect Your Locust Trees

You can avoid these pests and diseases by having the experts at Safari Tree take care of any locust trees on your property. Contact us right away if you have any questions or concerns about your trees. Our goal is to keep your landscape as beautiful and healthy as possible.