Black locusts are a mid-size tree with a distinctive rough, ash-gray bark and clusters of small oval leaves arranged in an alternating pattern on the supporting twig. The trees have brown seedpods that appear in the fall and fall off in the winter. Black locust trees can provide an added touch of visual interest to your yard without taking all the attention.
If you're considering planting a black locust, you need to understand the potential threats ahead of time. Monitoring your tree for disease and insect damage and calling in a tree services company for help can help keep your tree healthy and your yard beautiful.
Heart rot is a bark withering disease caused by fungi that enter the tree via existing damage to the bark. Knot or mushroom-shaped bulges will grow in the areas of the damage, which is the clearest sign your tree has a case of heart rot.
If the knots are only on a few branches, call in a tree trimming service like Northwest Residential Arborist And Excavating to prune off those branches and any remaining branches that might have suffered previous damage – regardless of whether knots have already formed. Removing all existing damage robs the disease of a chance to spread further in the tree. Pruning should be sufficient for treating the disease.
Have the knots become prominent around damaged parts of the trunk? The trunk might have already become too weak to safely support the rest of your tree. Call in a tree removal service to see if removal is the wisest and safest course of action.
Witches' broom, which is most often caused by fungi, gets the name from the spindly collections of twigs that form on the end of the branches. The twig bunches resemble the end of a broom.
The disease isn't attractive, but the damage is also mostly cosmetic. Calling in a tree pruning company to remove the brooms is often enough to prevent recurrence of the disease in the future.
The locust borer is a long, narrow insect with yellow rings and red legs. The borer only infests black locust trees. During the larvae stage, the borers dig into the bark of the tree, which weakens the branches and creates knots similar to those caused by heart rot. The bark's exterior will turn from dark and white to ashy and then yellow as the infestation worsens. Older trees with thicker bark are less susceptible to borer damage.
Light to moderate infestations can be treated with a combination of insecticide and pruning away affected branches. Severe cases may involve so much dead bark that a tree removal service will need to completely remove the tree – especially if you have another black locust tree that hasn't yet become infested.