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.

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.

ASH, MAPLE AND OAK TREES AFFECTED BY ANTHRACNOSE FUNGUS

Please see the photos below. These leaf depictions are a result of Anthracnose Fungus which manifests itself in a few different ways.

These are Maple leaves. This situation may or may not be evident just yet but a lot of trees will display similar damage over the coming month. Maple, Oak and a few other tree varieties can get Anthracnose. The wetter the Spring, the more issues there will be with all varieties of fungus and we all know just how wet this Spring has been in the Chicago suburbs.

Anthracnose is an airborne spore which blows onto susceptible trees and even some shrubs. We do ‘not’ recommend treating for this particular fungus because it is ‘not’ a yearly occurrence like it is with Apple Scab Fungus on Crabs or more recently, Rhizosphaera Needle Cast Fungus on Spruce trees. The extent to which Anthracnose Fungus will affect trees is an unknown in any given year. We must be ‘proactive’ in treating for any fungus and once a fungal condition begins to show visible signs, it is already too late to treat for that season. Why spend money on a treatment that is only an issue on occasion?

This next photo shows seemingly healthy green Ash leaves strewn about on a brick patio.This situation is also a result of Anthracnose Fungus. In the case of Ash trees, Anthracnose attacks leaf stems causing them to weaken and disconnect from the branch. As a result, individual leaves or clusters of leaves fall to the ground. Other than being unsightly, this condition should stop occurring after a few weeks. In a bad year, an Ash can lose up to 75% of its leaves but the tree will re-foliate as the Summer progresses. Your tree will not die due to this condition.