Summer has ended and fall is ready for its time to shine. This change of seasons typically brings rainfall and cooler temperatures. Wet, moist soil and chilly temperatures create the perfect breeding ground for fall fungal diseases on our trees.
So, what happens if you find your trees are suffering from a fungal disease or infection this fall? The first step is to know what the symptoms look like. Then, determine how to best reverse the health of your tree before winter.
Here is a list of fungal diseases to be on the lookout for in your region this fall:
Common victims: elm trees
Symptoms include: premature yellowing and wilting of foliage; branch dieback
Common victims: woody ornamental trees; Maple, redbud, magnolia, dogwood, azalea and locust trees
Symptoms include: leaf curling; drying, small yellow foliage; slow growth; wilting foliage on entire branches, often on one side of canopy
Common victims: sycamore trees; London and oriental plane trees are less susceptible
Symptoms include: small black dots on bark and twigs; crinkling and browning leaves; “witches’ brooms” at ends of branches
To help combat this disease: always remember to rake fall foliage to reduce further spreading of anthracnose
|Powdery mildew, a fungal disease that most commonly affects dogwood trees.|
Common victims: dogwoods
Symptoms include: white, powdery material on the upper surface of leaves; twisted, deformed foliage
To combat this disease: prune infected branches and encourage air movement so the foliage dries out quickly
Common victims: oak trees
Symptoms include: discolored, distorted leaves usually on lower portions of the canopy; stress on oak trees; dead leaves
Common victims: palms in Florida and Texas
Symptoms include: known as “one-sided wilt” because one half of the frond will have a wilted crown or branches
Common victims: conifers including spruce, Douglas fir and Austrian pine; spruce
Symptoms include: discolored, dropping needles; tiny, spore-forming structures on needles;
browning needles on lower branches; dropping needles in the early fall or spring
To combat this disease: plant conifers where they will receive abundant sun and good air circulation
Common victims: apple, crab apple and pear trees
Symptoms include: blighted shoots will turn brown; milky bacterial ooze from surface of diseased tissue; branches die back and remain on tree with dead tips
To combat this disease: This disease typically appears in the spring/summer growing season, but the fall and winter presents the perfect time to prune infected trees, which can help reduce the spread of fire blight.
Common victims: live oaks
Symptoms include: wet, discolored spots that seep through entry holes; reddish sap that is followed by a foamy liquid that may ooze
Common victims: white pine; sugar pine; limber pine
Symptoms include: yellowing or blistering bark; slender, brown bristles appearing on the underside of leave in the early fall
If you believe your tree is suffering from a fungal disease, contact your local, professionally trained Davey arborist for a free consultation.