As I eagerly anticipate the first burst of spring color and renewed growth, I am on the lookout for the diseases and pests that will also be emerging. Fortunately, preventative measures are available for these infestations. Acting early and responding promptly at the first indication of a problem is the key to protecting the health and vigor of your trees and shrubs.
A few of the most common spring fungal diseases include:
Cedar-Hawthorn rust as its name indicates is a fungal disease on cedar and hawthorn trees. On hawthorn trees the disease affects the leaves and fruit of the trees. On cedars the disease creates galls on the branches. This disease can be devastating to the appearance and health of the infected trees and treatment is necessary to prevent infection.Apple Scab
Apple Scab is a fungal disease that can cause full defoliation of crabapples and apple trees. Typically this disease starts out as olive green to brown spots on the leaves and by mid-summer affected trees can lose all of their leaves. Apple scab will not kill the tree initially, but if left untreated over several years it will cause the tree to lose vigor and eventually decline. The best control is preventative fungicide treatments throughout the spring time.
Diplodia Tip Blight
Diplodia Tip Blight is a fungal disease that is a significant problem on two-needle pines such as Austrian pines, Scots pines, and Mugo pines. The disease infects new growth in the spring and can cause yellowing needles and death of the tips of branches throughout the tree. Maintaining vigor, pruning out affected branches, and applying preventative treatments are the best control for Diplodia Tip Blight.
It is important to note that although the trees and plants need those spring rains, those same rains can also make it difficult to control diseases and pests. The added moisture provides the environment the fungi thrive in and can wash away some of the fungicides applied. Spring can be a frustrating time for fungal control, but is a much welcomed changed after this bitter cold winter!