Professional Lawn, Shrub & Tree Care
9418 Corsair Road, Frankfort, IL
(815) 469-5566 | (630) 620-5050 | (219) 836-8075
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30 Mar 2011
Anthracnose Tree and Shrub Disease

Anthracnose / Canker

Anthracnose Tree and Shrub DiseaseAnthracnose / Canker

Anthracnose—and canker are general terms for a large number of different plant diseases, characterized by broadly similar symptoms including the appearance of small areas of dead tissue, which grow slowly, often over a period of years. Some are of only minor consequence, but others are ultimately lethal, and of major economic importance in agriculture and horticulture. Different cankers and anthracnoses are caused by a wide range of organisms, including fungi, bacteria, mycoplasmas and viruses. The majority of canker-causing organisms are tied obligately to a single host species or genus, but a few will attack a wider range of plants. Canker can be spread by weather and animals, making an area that even has a slight amount of canker hazardous.
Some cankers are treatable with fungicides or bactericides, but many are not; often the only treatment available is to destroy the infected plant to prevent the disease from spreading to other plants. Managing the disease with fungicides will help to prolong the life of the tree.

30 Mar 2011
Apple Scab Tree and Shrub Disease

Apple Scab Disease

Apple Scab Tree and Shrub DiseaseApple Scab Disease

Apple Scab Disease is caused by the fungus, Venturia inaequalis and it affects almost all fruit trees, including crabapples, purple plums, sand cherries and mountain ash trees. Disease development is favored by wet, cool weather that generally occurs in spring and early summer. Both leaves and fruit can be affected. Infected leaves may drop resulting in unsightly trees, with poor fruit production. This early defoliation may weaken trees and make them more susceptible to winter injury or other pests. The disease causes scab-like lesions on the leaves, causing them to brown, curl and fall prematurely.  The infected leaves, when left on the ground, re-infect the new growth in a continuous cycle throughout the season. The disease is most severe during a cool, wet and windy spring.  In the spring, the fungus in old diseased leaves produces millions of spores. These spores are released into the air during rain periods in April, May and June. They are then carried by the wind to young leaves, flower parts and fruits. Once in contact with susceptible tissue, the spore germinates in a film of water and the fungus penetrates into the plant. Depending upon weather conditions, symptoms (lesions) will show up in 9 to 17 days.
A timed, early spring and summer spray schedule is critical to managing the disease and will restrict the spread of apple scab lesions, helping the tree to maintain its aesthetic beauty. Regular pruning is also needed to control the disease, by allowing proper air flow through the tree. Any fallen leaves should be removed immediately.

30 Mar 2011
CEDAR QUINCE RUST Tree and Shrub Disease

Cedar-Quince Rust

CEDAR QUINCE RUST Tree and Shrub DiseaseCedar-Quince Rust

Cedar-Quince Rust is caused by a fungal pathogen called Gymnosporangium clavipes. This fungus occurs on a wide range of rose family plants, including mountain ash, hawthorn, quince, flowering quince, serviceberry, crabapple, and apple (though apples are somewhat resistant). In addition, eastern red cedars, common, prostrate, Rocky Mountain and savin junipers are possible evergreen hosts. In order to survive, the fungus must “move” from one type of host to another (e.g., from juniper to hawthorn). this rust causes flaky, perennial branch swellings rather than distinct, roundish galls. Most of these swellings girdle and kill small twigs, but some survive and remain infectious for many years. Most people do not notice the branch swellings until the telia become wet, swell and gelatinize to a bright orange color. On deciduous hosts, leaves, petioles, young branches and fruit are usually infected and symptoms vary widely among the various hosts. On hawthorn, the pinkish aecia (tubes) occur mainly on branches, thorns, and fruit. Hawthorn and serviceberry fruit often becomes heavily covered with aecia. Branch and thorn infections result in spindle-shaped, perennial cankers that expand each growing season. However, most infected branches are girdled by the canker during the second season, causing die-back to a bud or side-shoot. From the telial swellings on the evergreen host, basidiospores are released that infect deciduous hosts such as hawthorn. Seven to ten days after infection, spots or swellings develop, followed a few days later by the formation of tiny black dots (spermagonia) within the spots.
Four to seven weeks later, aecia are formed. Aeciospores, released from the aecia during rain or as morning humidity lowers, become airborne and infect susceptible evergreen hosts during late summer and fall. The following spring (or one year later), swellings (consisting of both fungal and host plant tissues) develop on the evergreen host. When the swellings are mature, a few hours of wet, cool (74 and 78°F is optimal) spring weather is sufficient for repeated telial swelling and release basidiospores that infect the deciduous host. In contrast to cedar-apple rust galls, cedar-quince rust swellings may remain infectious for 4-6 years or more. Proper use of fungicides, coupled with a regular fertilization program, will help to reduce symptoms and maintain the overall health of the plant.

30 Mar 2011
Dieback Tree and Shrub Disease

Dieback

Dieback Tree and Shrub DiseaseDieback

Dieback is a disease of vascular plants characterized by a dying backward from the tip of twigs and branches and caused by parasites, insufficient moisture, etc. Once insects get inside the tree and begin boring, the tree’s circulatory system is disrupted, causing the interruption to the tree’s extremities.

30 Mar 2011
Tip Blight aka Diplodia Tree & Shrub Disease

Diplodia (Tip Blight)

Tip Blight aka Diplodia Tree & Shrub DiseaseDiplodia (Tip Blight)

Diplodia (Tip Blight) dead, brown needles at the tips of pine branches may signal the presence of Diplodia tip blight. Surveys indicate that no species of pine (Pinus) is immune to this disease, although some species are more severely affected than others. Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) is one of the most severely damaged species. Tip blight infection year after year can weaken and even kill large Austrian pine trees. Douglas-fir, white, Norway, and blue spruce may also be infected, but infection of these species usually develops only on trees that are injured or stressed and when infected pine are nearby to provide a source of inoculums (spores). The fungus which causes tip blight of pine trees is Sphaeropsis sapinea (also known as Diplodia pinea). This fungus is present throughout the year in dead needles, leaf sheaths, twigs, and cones located either on an infected tree or on the ground. Small black fruiting bodies mature during late spring or early summer in this material. The brown oval spores ooze out of the fruiting structure during wet conditions and are scattered by wind, splashing rain, animals, or pruning equipment. Some spores land on young needles of the current season’s growth. After the spore germinates, the fungus enters the needle through a stomata (or pore) and grows toward the base of the needle. A few hours later, a brown area develops near the point where the fungus entered the needle. By this time, the fungus has grown into the twig. The progressive invasion of the twig by the fungus results in browning of the attached needles and canker production in the twig. The damage caused by this disease is most severe on old or weakened trees. Old trees or trees exposed to unsuitable growing conditions, mechanical injury, or damage by insects may eventually be killed. Thorough weekly watering during extended dry periods of the growing season and spring broadcast fertilization will result in a tree that is more vigorous and more resistant to tip blight. When only a few branches of a tree show symptoms of tip blight, a program of pruning, sanitation and fertilization should help minimize disease. Prune off blighted twigs and destroy or discard them. Since fungal spores can be transported to healthy twigs during the pruning operation, prune when the tree is dry. Where disease is severe on smaller landscape trees, applying some fungicides will help to minimize new infections.

30 Mar 2011
Hawthorn Rust

Hawthorn Rust

Hawthorn RustHawthorn  Rust

Hawthorn  Rust most often infects leaves and may lead to premature leaf drop. The bright yellow spots can make an entire plant appear yellow. Hawthorn rust may also form spindle-shaped galls on shoots. Disease prevention and control is the key to effective control. A program of hawthorn rust management is made up of two primary components—protective fungicide treatments and selection of disease resistant varieties. Elimination of juniper from an area can reduce disease but is neither a realistic nor desirable practice in urban landscapes. Close placement of the two hosts can, however, increase the severity of the disease. When dealing with susceptible hawthorn varieties, properly chosen and timed fungicide treatments will do an excellent job of managing rust diseases, keeping your plants healthy and attractive.

30 Mar 2011
Leaf Scorch Tree & Shrub Condition

Leaf Scorch

Leaf Scorch Tree & Shrub ConditionLeaf Scorch

Leaf Scorch is a physiological problem that can occur on any kind of plant. It can be caused by transplanting, soil compaction, nearby excavation, a nutrient deficiency, chemical injury, unfavorable weather conditions (such as drought), poor soil, or limited room for root growth. Scorch often occurs in July and August, especially on newly planted trees, when the roots cannot supply enough water to offset the water lost through the leaves in transpiration. Hot, dry winds will increase the amount and severity of leaf scorch, especially in the early summer after a cool, wet period. Symptoms of leaf scorch include yellowing and/or darkening of tissues between the main leaf veins or along the leaf margins, sometimes with dark angular spots in the discolored areas. Entire leaves may become brown and wither when leaf scorch is severe. Plants affected by leaf scorch may lose many leaves during late summer and exhibit some twig dieback. However, they often recover if the cause of stress on the plant is not chronic. Severely affected plants may be fertilized and watered to help overcome leaf scorch. Proper watering by saturating the soil to a depth of six inches is especially important. Water once every one to two weeks during dry periods. Light, general pruning of trees and shrubs helps reduce the total foliage load that must be supported by the root system. Dead and dying branches should also be removed.

30 Mar 2011
Needlecast Tree & Shrub Fungal Disease

Needle Cast

Needlecast Tree & Shrub Fungal DiseaseNeedle Cast

Needle Cast is a fungus that affects conifer trees causing infected needles to become discolored and die and eventually be cast from the tree. Begin scouting for this disease in early April before bud break. Scout on slightly overcast days as opposed to sunny ones, as it will make the discoloration of the needles stand out much better. Examine needles near the base of the tree first, as this is where infection is most likely to occur. Infected needles will have one or more purplish-brown bands or spots, which are evident on both the upper and lower surface of the needle. Usually just before bud break, the banded areas will begin to swell and split open lengthwise on the undersurface of the infected needles, in preparation for releasing infectious spores. Once the fruiting bodies rupture, spongy, orange, spore-bearing fungal tissue will protrude from the undersurface when conditions are damp. When this tissue begins to turn black, spore production and dissemination is complete. Three fungicide applications are generally recommended. The first should be made when at least 50% of the buds have broken and the new growth is 1/2 inch long. Make two more applications at two to three week intervals after the first. To help prevent the spread of this disease, plant where there will be good air drainage, and keep properly pruned to encourage airflow between the trees.