Common Tree Diseases: Anthracnose
Anthracnose is a relatively new disease in Michigan and is actually quite common now. It can attack any type of tree but it seems to prefer ash, oak, maple, dogwood, and sycamores the best. The anthracnose fungus is caused by overwintering fungi in cankers that reside on twigs. In the spring the cankers produce spores that spread to other trees in cool, wet weather.
Take precautions and check your trees for signs of disease, because the best way to protect your trees is to prevent them from catching diseases.
Symptoms of Anthracnose
The first thing you will notice when your tree is infected with anthracnose is ugly, discolored spots on the leaves that disrupt leaf’s photosynthesis. As time passes, these spots will grow bigger and darker and may consume the entire leaf causing it to fall off prematurely.
Most of the time anthracnose causes no real harm and the effects are usually just aesthetic; but in severe cases, you might see early leaf drop or complete defoliation. This can severely stress a tree and leave it vulnerable to heavy winds and a host of other tree diseases.
Anthracnose disease also infects fruit trees. Infected fruit will develop sunken, dark spots with a clump of pinkish spores at the center. If the infection is left to spread, the fruit will rot and fall off.
This tree disease can spread quickly from tree to tree via wind, insects, rain, and even humans who can carry the infected spores around on garden tools.
This common tree disease is a very difficult disease to cure, making prevention a better approach. You can prevent anthracnose by making sure your trees stay healthy with regular fertilizing and watering. Stronger trees have a tendency to be more resilient to the disease.
Be sure to rake up and destroy any diseased foliage that falls off the infected tree; this includes all the leaves that fall off in the fall. This will help protect other trees from getting infected.
Another method for preventing anthracnose is to switch to drip irrigation. Drip irrigation will provide enough water to the tree without creating the wet conditions the anthracnose fungus needs to grow.
When all else fails, there are several fungicides that can cure anthracnose. These fungicides include copper sprays, sulfur powders, and neem oil. Depending on the severity of the infection you may need to apply fungicide at least once a week until the infection clears up.
Call A Professional Tree Removal Service
None of these methods are foolproof and the longer it lingers the higher the chance that it can spread to your other trees. The best way to protect your trees is to remove the diseased tree and destroy the wood.
At PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, we provide tree removal, stump grinding services, and tree planting. We can be out there, remove the tree, and plant a new one and it’ll be like nothing was ever there in the first place.