Spring Showers Bring May Flowers, but They Also Bring Fungus Diseases
Despite bringing the moisture needed to spark plant life in our region, spring presents an environment that promotes insect, disease, and fungus activity. Excess moisture and moderate temperatures can almost guarantee fungus development. If temperatures are very warm, trees and shrubs become less susceptible to fungus; however, in damp, cool, and dark areas, fungus can thrive and seriously damage your trees and shrubs. A few fungus diseases to look out for this spring include:
Anthracnose infection begins in the leaves, causing them to brown and dry up. Over time, infection of twigs and shoots may kill branches, usually beginning with those low on the tree and moving upward. Infected trees can die within one to three years. Treatments in the spring help prevent and control anthracnose infections.
Flowering Apples and Crabapples are susceptible to a fungus disease called Apple Scab. The results of this disease are yellow and brown leaves in the spring, and defoliation by early summer. Foliar treatments can protect your trees from this fungus disease. If planting new Apples and Crabapples, there are varieties that are resistant to fungus, so be sure to check with an Arborist first.
Diplodia infects mainly Austrian and Red Pines in our region. Initial symptoms show as stunted new shoots with short, brown needles. The needles on infected trees often become discolored and become tan or brown, rather than green. New shoots will be killed rapidly by the fungus. Repeated infections seriously reduce growth and deform trees, which will ultimately kill them.
Don’t let your trees become infected with fungus this spring. Preventative fungicides are recommended on susceptible trees, and maintenance pruning will help to improve light and air flow, which will help keep a tree fungus-free. Request a consultation with one of our plant health care experts to discover how to keep your trees free of fungus infections.
Left to right: Dogwood Anthracnose, Apple Scab, and Diplodia