Springtime can usher in a host of tree diseases, because rising temperatures provide a hospitable environment for both fungal and bacterial infections. Correctly identifying your tree's disease is one of the most essential steps to helping your tree. Fungal diseases can lay dormant in the tree during the winter. If your tree has a history of disease or surrounding trees have contracted fungal diseases, spray your tree in the early spring with a dormant season application of fungicide to prevent the spread or the fungal spores from reappearing.
Things You'll Need
- Bypass shears
- Lopping shears
- Pruning saw
- Denatured alcohol
- Garbage bag
Watch your trees for fungal infections during the rainy season of spring. Fungal diseases such as peach leaf curl, brown rot, perennial cankers and bacterial spots rely on the changing seasons to come out of dormancy and spread to trees.
Examine your tree's branches, leaves, fruit and bark. Look for spotted leaves, discolored bark, fungal spores, disfigured fruit, tree cankers (wounds), scabby fruit, stunted growth or dead tree limbs. For an analysis, take a picture of the diseased tree and take to your local nursery.
Remove the damaged areas from the tree with bypass shears, lopping shears and a pruning saw. Dip the pruning tool in a mixture of 70 percent denatured alcohol and 30 percent water in between cuts to prevent spreading the disease. Cut in a 45 degree downward angle to right above a healthy outward growing bud. If you are cutting off an entire branch, cut next to the tree collar (swelling of the tree from the branch to the trunk).
Burn or throw away all diseased leaves, branches, fruit or bark. Rake any diseased debris from underneath the tree and remove from the area.
Spray your tree with a fungicide according to the tree's disease.
Tips & Warnings
- Spray trees that have fungal diseases during their dormancy with an application of a fungicide that contains copper. Most treatments of fungal diseases are based on preventing the fungal spores from growing or spreading.
- Avoid planting a tree on any area that has root rot or scab fungal spores within the soil.
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