What Tree Diseases Is A Threat To An Ornamental California Buckeye?

15 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog


California buckeyes are an unusual, striking tree that is considered a native species in the United States. The tree has colorful flowers, glossy fan-shaped leaves, and pear-shaped fruit that are toxic to some pests. But the most striking part about the California buckeye is the fact that the leaves turn yellow and drop during the summer rather than the fall.

If you're considering adding a large and vibrant ornamental tree to your yard, the California buckeye might be a good pick. But tree ownership does come with responsibilities such as checking for signs of burgeoning tree diseases. There are a couple of key diseases that can strike a California buckeye and calling in a tree service company early can help prevent any further damage.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal tree disease that is more of a cosmetic concern than a threat to the tree's health. The fungus causes a fuzzy mold-like substance to grow on the surface of the leaves. If the mold grows thick enough, the mold can block out the sun and cause the leaf to prematurely whither and shed from the tree.

Cleaning up the fallen leaves and keeping the tree well fertilized and watered ahead of the next growing season are often enough to keep the problem from returning.

The nice thing about California buckeyes is that the powdery mildew, which tends to start taking hold in the spring, won't really cause the leaves to drop much earlier than they would have anyway thanks to the tree's summer dormancy.

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden oak death is a pathogenic disease that is typically fatal. The disease more typically strikes oak trees but can also infect a California buckeye tree. The good news is that the California buckeye is unlikely to actually die from the disease.

Symptoms of sudden oak death are the general symptoms of dieback: prematurely yellowing leaves, early leaf drops, and some weaker branches. But these symptoms can be harder to recognize during summer dormancy and its best to have a tree service come out and test the tree if you suspect a problem.

Once the problem is diagnosed, the best course of action is to have the tree service regularly trim and remove affected areas. A well-kept buckeye tree should recover from the oak death on its own.

Note that if you have oak trees in your yard or neighborhood, you might have to call in a tree removal service to take out your buckeye tree. The buckeye tree can spread the disease to the oaks, which will all die. Contact a tree service, like Hodgson's Expert Tree Service, for more help.