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Common Pests & Diseases to look out for

Pests and diseases are not usually the primary cause of decline in tree health. Typically, root stress is. But your treehouse will do better if the tree is very healthy and stress free to begin with. Here are some common pests & diseases and links to places for further research:

Emerald Ash Borer

Native USA Ash trees, especially those in the midwest, midatlantic, and northeast states, are at risk either already or in the next 5-10 years. The borer beetle is hard to stop and devastating to trees. If you are in these areas, do not choose an ash tree for a treehouse that you want to keep after the pest makes it to your area. Most ash trees die within 2-5 years after the emerald ash borer moves in.

Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt Disease is caused by a pathogen that spreads by flying insects and between tree root connections. It leads to decline and possibly death for oak trees.

Structural Decay

Whether disease, fire, or structural injury, any dead tree tissue will decay over time. Sometimes decayed spots are visible from the outside, sometimes there is no sign without having an arborist test the tree. You may notice a scar if an old wound is almost closed. Ensure that the tree is sound enough to hold the treehouse and get an arborists help if you aren't confident enough to make that call yourself.

Other Tree Diseases affecting treehouses

Woodpeckers hammer into trees looking for wood-eating insects, so this is generally a bad sign.

Chestnut Blight - Wiped out most Chestnut trees from the eastern USA

Dutch Elm Disease - Fungus that devastated Elm trees in America.

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