Is there a problem with this tree?

Asked May 26, 2019, 3:05 PM EDT

Hello, our next door neighbor has a large tree with branches growing on our side of the fence. We moved here a year ago and I don't recall if the leaves were the same last year. They look strange and bubbled. Is this normal or do you think something is wrong with it. If so, what suggestions can I give my neighbor to help the tree. I'd also like to know if it is diseased, could it affect the trees and plants in my yard? What about the leaves that fall on my side in autumn, should I compost them or throw them away? Thank you for your help.

Linn County Oregon

1 Response

Your neighbor's tree appears to have a heavy infestation of eriophyid mites. Such mites are much smaller that the spider mites you may be familiar with.These mites feed from the undersides of the leaves and are invisible without considerable magnification.

Eriophyid mites are host specific. That is, they are typically on only one kind of plant. Although the damage is unsightly, it's unlikely to affect the tree's health.

To have the tree identified, and the diagnosis verified, take an 15- to 18-inch piece of branch with both healthy and affected leaves to the Linn County Extension Service office for a first-hand inspection.

The Linn County Extension Service office is at 33630 McFarland Road,Tangent, OR 97389. Their website is . Phone 541-967-3871 to ask when the Master Gardeners are available to help you.