Most leaf spot usually indicates a fungal problem. Springtime moisture and cool temperatures provide a great opportunity for tree fungus to take hold.
Tree funguses are ugly but not always directly detrimental to tree health.
Tree funguses need to be addressed in the early spring, upon “bud break.” If you have a fungus, it can’t be eradicated mid season so you definitely want to get an early start.
Common Tree Diseases With Leaf Spot
Familiarity with a specific tree or plant species is key to making the correct diagnosis. These are some of the tree diseases we run into a lot.
Boxwood Blight (Box Blight)
We see boxwood blight a lot with our clients all over Westchester. The disease can spread fast and is potentially deadly to the plant and unsightly for your landscape.
Infected leaves start with dark or possibly light brown spots. Leaves eventually turn a dessert color (blight.) Plants that are badly infected will completely defoliate.
Apple Scab Disease
Apple scab presents with dull grayish spots on the leaf and fruit. Springtime is when signs of the fungus will first show. Apple scab won’t kill your apple tree but it does make the apples less than desirable for consumption.
We commonly see tar spots on maples and sycamores. It’s also a fungus that shows itself in the spring. Tar spot is more of a cosmetic issue than a health issue for the tree.
We’ve found fungicide treatment to be very effective with tar spot, along with thorough leaf cleanup. Old leaves cary the spores that can continue to infect your trees.
Leaf Spot Treatment
The treatments will vary depending on the fungus. Our experts will determine the exact course of action but here’s the broad approach.
The way to get rid of leaf spot is to use 3-4 preventative treatments early in the spring. We recommend the first treatment be done upon bud break. Then we follow up with a series of fungicide treatments, (2-3 treatments, 2-3 weeks apart.)
Generally, we get better control using conventional fungicides but it’s not always appropriate. We try to stay as organic and natural as possible and much depends on the situation. For fruit baring trees we would use a more natural treatment.
Preventing Leaf Spot From Reoccurring
As with many of the plant and tree problems we routinely see, many issues can be eliminated with a proper tree and plant health maintenance program.
A big part of tree and plant health care is fertilization. A well fed tree or plant will be much more resistant to disease and insects.
When you sign up for our tree and plant health care program, you won’t have these problems.
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