Tree Pests & Diseases

There are over one hundred different insect species in the Midwest that have the ability to damage your trees, bushes, and other plants. One very important thing to note is that not all insects on trees and shrubs are damaging. Some are beneficial and may help pollinate flowers or could be predators or parasites on insects that damage plants. Progressive Tree Services is trained to correctly identify these beneficial insects and mites and is able to properly devise effective programs and methods that protect landscape plants and trees from serious damage while conserving beneficial organisms.

Top 10 Insects that Threaten Plants in the Midwestern United States:

Emerald ash borer

It is a green beetle that is an invasive species. An emerald ash borer infestation is highly destructive to ash trees

Gypsy moth

It is classified as a pest, and its larvae consume the leaves of over 500 species of trees, shrubs and plants. The gypsy moth is one of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees in the United States.


It is a moth whose larvae feed on various deciduous trees and shrubs. The eggs hatch, turning into numerous inch-long worms that can defoliate and kill a tree.

Bark beetles

They are little black beetles that often attack trees that are already weakened by disease, drought, smog, conspecific beetles or physical damage

Tent caterpillars

They attack several kinds of broad-leaf trees and shrubs and produce unsightly webs, or tents, and defoliate trees, stunting their growth and making them less vigorous.

Flat-headed borers

Including bronze birch borer, and two-lined chestnut borer – larvae hatch and then chew their way into the bark and start feeding


A type of beetle that is damaging to crops by laying larvae in the crop that then eat into the crop.

Spider mites

They live on the undersides of leaves of plants, where they may spin protective silk webs, and they cause damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed.


Also known as plant lice, are small sap-sucking insects and are among the most destructive insect pests

Tree diseases are abnormalities in trees and shrubs caused by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi and by environmental stress such as temperature extremes, drought, and air pollution. Diseases are often difficult to diagnose since there are multiple agents that are able to produce identical or similar symptoms. Accurate diagnosis is essential to developing effective treatment programs.

Top 10 Diseases that Threaten Plants in the Midwestern United States:

  • Oak wilt
  • Phytophthora root rot
  • Dutch elm disease
  • Wood decay
  • Anthracnose
  • Needlecast
  • Verticillium wilt
  • Pinewood nematode
  • Iron and manganese chlorosis
  • Drought


A professional tree trimming service can help you save an infected tree by removing parts of the tree while preserving the rest.

For more information, you can take a look at the most common tree diseases in the Chicago area or at the newest service we offer, organic mosquito control.

Just like humans do occasionally, trees get sick and recognizing the most common tree diseases...