Donegan's Tree Service

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Advice for tree owners everywhere

The Fungus Among Us

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We’ve been faced with the wetest season on record. We’ve already gotten 45+ inches of rain!

Along with all that rain and moisture comes fungal spores and many of our customers are very concerned about their tree foliage wilting, dying and falling off the tree prematurely. Because of the weather, we tend to know right away that their problem is Anthracnose, a disease caused by a fungus (Gloeosporium apocryptum) that affects Maples, Dogwoods, Sycamore, Oak and many other trees.

This fungus spends the winter on fallen leaves in sunken cankers on twigs that are still on the tree. During the rainy weather these spores get blown around and splashed onto young leaves which cause dead spots to develop where the fungus has attacked the tissue. As the spots expand, the fungus can kill the leaf during the rainy season and, like this year, can cause early defoliation. 

The tree will grow new leaves if defoliation does take place in the spring or early summer, but when the tree is severely affected for multiple years in a row, the fungus can eventually enter and kill the branches.

But don’t fear! We have a solution.

Trees that have been affected by this disease for a single year do not require any chemical treatment. Leaves can be raked and removed and dead twigs can be pruned below the canker on the bark to help reduce the amount of the disease that may occur next year. If the next season continues to be as wet as this year, the tree may require a fungicide spray. We can assess your trees and help you determine the necessary next steps.

 

Jim Donegan