Rhizosphaera Needle Cast Fungus and Mite

Last year we made you aware of a fungal condition which we refer to as ‘Rhizo’ that has been wreaking havoc especially to Colorado Green & Blue Spruce!

For many years, Spruce Mites were a Spruce tree’s main issue and most of our clients had us treating for them. While Mites are still an issue, we recommended that you consider changing over to an encouraging new program which controls Mites but also includes fungicidal products to control Rhizo as well.

As always, we were up front in telling everyone that we had no history treating for Rhizo and that we might not know how effective the treatments would be until the Summer of 2020 since we had only started this new program last year. We normally do not suggest treatments or products that we haven’t had a chance to test for ourselves but we just didn’t feel we could recommend waiting two years before we knew for sure the efficacy of these applications. The fungus is just too aggressive to have not offered the new program. Some clients started treating immediately and others opted to wait but as of now, we are pleased to report…

THE NEW COMBINATION PROGRAM APPEARS TO BE WORKING VERY WELL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This particular tree was severely damaged from Rhizo. Initially we felt it might be too infected to survive but we needed to get an idea of what we could realistically expect from our product mix. We treated it last year and never imagined it would make the recovery it has in just one short year. We think it is very safe to say that this tree is improving and will look even better moving forward. By preventing the fungus from continuing to spread throughout the tree, we think you can see that it has allowed the tree to begin displaying new, healthy and unimpeded candle growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Spruce was getting pretty scraggly but if you look closely you can tell that the decline has stopped and the tree is starting to fill in around the diseased areas. Some trees may recover more quickly than others as there are always additional factors at play. Clay soil is a huge detriment to these trees as are areas that hold water and don’t allow the root systems to dry out adequately. We always recommend Professional, High Pressure Root Fertilization for any prominent trees on your property. This keeps your valuable landscaping as healthy as possible so that they are better equipped at handling negative, environmental stressors as they pop up. Additionally, our rich mixture of minerals, nutrients and amino acids encourages new growth which helps cover up and hide previously diseased areas.

We could have included many more photos but these are a good representation of what we and our clients are seeing. Even if a treated tree simply appears to have remained in the same condition as it was last year and hasn’t declined further, that’s still an achievement. Stopping additional fungal and Mite damage is our goal. As mentioned, with time, the tree should continually put out new growth, enhancing its appearance year after year.

Folks, if you have Spruce trees that are only being treated for Spruce Mites, we would encourage you to change to this combination program. If you have Spruce that are not being treated at all, we really suggest you consider protecting them. This Rhizo fungus is a very aggressive disease. It travels by wind and on the feet of birds and squirrels. It is far better to stay ahead of the curve and prevent the fungus from taking hold through proactive treatment measures rather than waiting for limbs to start dying and trying to save the tree later.

Japanese Beetles and Magnolia Scale Widespread

Japanese Beetles have emerged in the Naperville area, and Magnolia Scale insects are widespread. Now is a great time to inspect your trees. Japanese Beetles attack a wide variety of trees but Lindens are definitely their favorite. If you start to see leaves laying in your yard that resemble those in the photos above over the upcoming weeks, Japanese Beetles are at work.

Other trees to pay close attention to are White Birch, River Birch, Elm, Purple Plum, Cherry, certain Maples, Crabs and a wide variety of bushes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnolia Scale is spreading again. These white pods are full of microscopic Scale insects sucking the sap and nutrients from Magnolia trees. Left unchecked and allowed to overwinter even more Scale pods will appear next year and will ultimately lead to the death of the tree. Magnolia Scale insects cause substantial sap drippage on anything beneath the tree.

If you find either of these issues, it’s time to give us a call!

Crab Apple Trees – Fungus

We mentioned that we expect fungal issues to be extensive this year in the Western suburbs. We are certain of that. For those of you whose Crab Apples we treat for Apple Scab, we know you will be happy with your decision to treat your trees. You will realize just how glad as the Summer progresses and you see other area Crabs missing 70% to 90% of their leaves in July, August, September and October.

Keep in mind though that a new fungus hit the area in the past few years called ‘Frogeye’ Fungus. This fungus is different and not nearly as debilitating as Apple Scab. It may create bright yellow spots on the leaves initially and the tree may then drop some bright yellow leaves onto your lawn. This situation too will last a few weeks and then stop. This occurrence happens early enough in the Summer that the trees will still have a chance to re-foliate. It is not anywhere near as harmful as Apple Scab which creates dark brown and black lesions on the leaves. Our Apple Scab products are not labeled for Frogeye. There is a limit to how many products we can mix together and there is no single product that controls every potential fungus that is out there. We focus primarily on Apple Scab which does the most harm by far.