Common South Carolina Tree Diseases

South Carolina is home to a wide variety of tree species, which vary from oaks, pines, conifers to dogwoods. However, this region of the US is also prone to numerous South Carolina tree diseases that are noted for wreaking havoc to the ideal growth and health of these plants. Below are some 3 common tree diseases, which are rampant in the Southeast, particularly the Carolinas.

Oak Leaf Blister

oak leaf blister tree disease
oak leaf blister

This tree disease is attributable to a type of fungus known as Taphrina Caerulescens. Typically, most oak species are vulnerable to this infection, but the pin and white oak varieties are the ones that are hardest hit by this disease. A minor infection of oak leaf blisters may cause mild harm to the health of these plants. Nevertheless, when the infection is severe, midsummer defoliation can happen. The main symptoms of this tree disease are blister looking patches, which manifest on the leaves. These blisters usually take a lighter green color when contrasted to the surrounding leave tissue, and ultimately turn to a brown color. Studies have revealed that these patches arise as a result of overgrown infected leaf tissue, which is triggered by the toxic substances that are secreted by the fungus.

Dogwood Anthracnose

dogwood anthracnose tree disease
dogwood anthracnose

This is yet another example of the most common South Carolina tree disease that affects the flowering species of dogwoods. It is caused by a fungus that is known as Discula Sp. These particular trees are more susceptible to infection during the cool and wet months of spring and fall. But they can also be infected during the whole growing season. The drought and winter injuries are noted for weakening these dogwood species and enhancing the disease’s severity. The major symptoms of dogwood Anthracnose include: Tan spots which turn to purple rims on the leaves, necrotic veins and also the leaf margins. A direct infection of the shoot can give rise to diminutive cankers, especially during the spring and fall seasons. Brown and elliptical cankers can also manifest at the bottom/base of the dead branches, and when they multiply, can girdle various individual branches or else kill the plant.

Annosus Root Rot

annosus root rot tree disease
annosus root rot

This is a very serious disease, which affects pines and conifers, and is caused by a fungus known as Heterobasidion Annosium. Infected trees are noted for growing at a significantly decreased rate, and become more prone to attacks from bark beetles. Spores of this fungus are synthesized in structures that are called conks, and they develop at the base of the infected trees. This is one of the most common South Carolina tree diseases and it occurs frequently and with increased severity in areas with low water tables and 12” or more of soil containing 65% sand.

Pine Tree Varieties in South Carolina

south carolina loblolly pine tree
Example Loblolly Pine in South Carolina

South Carolina is home to many pine tree species, which makes it an ideal location for a pine lover and enthusiast to explore. The pines of South Carolina include Loblolly Pine, Longleaf Pine, Shortleaf Pine, Table Mountain Pine, Pond Pine, White Pine, Spruce Pine, Slash Pine, Virginia Pine, and Pitch Pine. They were the native species that have been in South Carolina for a good long time. Their names reflect the characteristics of the leaves and the location of origin. Pines can grow anywhere as long as they receive sufficient care against weather elements, especially when they are young. Here is another source:

Tree specialists and arborists such as Palmetto Tree Service can easily identify different pine types variations, but the South Carolina varieties seem similar when anyone else sees them. With a keen eye, it is possible to see some leaves are longer on some trees and short on others. The spacing also differs slightly and this at the most visible signs of differing species. Still, these needles can only be compared when different pines grow side by side. Most pines grow in one area together naturally or as planted trees by humans. Another visible difference in the types is on the cone. Some cones like on the Table Mountain pine have a strong, stout spine.

south carolina slash pine tree
Slash Pine Variety in South Carolina

The Slash pine variety is one of the fastest growing, and it also happens to share a botanical heritage of South Carolina. It was named after a famous botanist. It has also been planted across the Coastal Plain. On the other hand, the Virginia pine seems to bulldoze its way into relevancy by colonizing disturbed grounds like storm damaged forests. Its commercial uses are limited because it does not yield good timber as the other pines.

Some pines were introduced in South Carolina, and while they are today referred as belonging to the area, they remain exotic when classified according to their origin. They include Scotch Pine, Sand Pine, and Japanese Black Pine. Scotch came from Europe and Asia, and it was desired for its excellent timber quality. It is also a good choice for Christmas trees because of its needle leaves that are clustered. It is also easy to cultivate in commercial farms. The Sand pine can be noted by its 4-5” long needles. They are slightly twisted. They take a light green color and spread out. The Japanese Black is ornamental. It provides an attractive landscape view, and it is tolerant to salt spray and wind. Its needles are also very tall, reaching 5 inches.