Wet Spring Means Tree Fungus Issues

We have had long, cool, damp Springs and the wettest May in history for 3 years in a row now in the Chicago area. Those are prime conditions for tree ‘issues’ to flourish. There are all types of fungus, leaf blights and winter damage occurring right now, causing leaves to blemish, yellow and fall from a wide array of trees and shrubs. Also, some green leaves will start falling soon.

Green Leaves Falling
We mention this almost every year. A fungal issue called Anthracnose causes stems on leaves to weaken and then fall. This can be pretty heavy at times. Its favorite target seems to be Ash, Maple, Oak and Hickory but can affect other trees as well. Don’t worry about this. It doesn’t really hurt the tree and it’s not really controllable anyway.

Yellow Leaves Falling
This yellowing leaf drop is due to ‘Frogeye Fungus’, which is different from Apple Scab. We have never treated for Frogeye in the past as its presence has been very sporadic over the years. The products we use for Apple Scab obviously won’t prevent Frogeye or this tree shown below wouldn’t have contracted this fungus. It is important to note that Frogeye isn’t as debilitating to Crabs as Apple Scab.

frogeye fungus on crabapplefrogeye on leaves









There are over 100 different varieties of Crab Apple trees and only a few are susceptible to Frogeye. In the past, leaf drop due to Frogeye has occurred over a period of a few weeks. The tree thins out a bit but re-foliates as the Summer progresses, whereas with Apple Scab, the tree defoliates, often almost completely, and stays that way from July through October. If your Crab Apple is exhibiting these symptoms we understand that it’s frustrating treating for one fungus and then have a different fungus come up unexpectedly. There are no fungicidal products that treat every conceivable fungus that might occur.

Sometimes, as is the case here, there is no way to predict certain issues until they happen. We don’t offer treatments for ‘what-if’s’. We offer treatments for what we ‘know’ will be a yearly issue. It makes no sense to treat year after year for something you might only experience once in 5 or 10 years.

There are many environmental factors that affect trees. We can treat and protect trees from the most serious issues, but you can’t treat for everything, nor should you.

Pear Trees with Fire Blight

pear tree with fire blightUp until now we have had no spray applications available for Fire Blight on your beautiful Pear trees. Spray products simply didn’t penetrate the trees branch tissue enough to protect them. Since we never offer treatments that we haven’t tested ourselves, we have only offered fertilization techniques to try to override and combat the negative effects of this condition. This has worked pretty well but it hasn’t directly addressed the infection itself.

We have heard about a trunk injectable product that is available for Fire Blight. Our product supplier put us in touch with a few out of state companies who have all tested this product and they’ve reported seeing really positive results.

This product is injected into the tree using the same process and equipment (but not the same product obviously) that we have been injecting Ash trees with for years. While we do not know first-hand how well this product works, we believe that it will work based on the discussions we’ve had.  We will have more ‘first-hand knowledge’ in a year or two so if you’d like to wait, we understand. If not, please contact us and we will supply you with a quote free of charge.

As always we appreciate working with you in the protection and care of your beautiful, valuable trees.

Wet Spring Means Fungus on Crabs, Hawthornes and Maples

May of 2018 was the wettest May in the history of record keeping in Chicago. Then, May of 2019 beat that record. Now, May of 2020 beat the record again and we still have 10 days to go in the month. This is both unprecedented and unbelievable.

Cool, damp weather creates ideal breeding conditions for fungal issues and that is exactly what we have once again. After repeated years of this, fungal spore counts are now higher than ever. You will realize how bad conditions truly are once July, August and September gets here and you see your neighbors untreated trees in extreme duress. Your trees will be in much better shape but may not be quite as perfect as you’re used to seeing from our applications because of the long, drawn out, fungus friendly Spring we are experiencing.

Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather. We can only react to it.

Due to this, we are recommending that you consider an additional spray application in June for Apple Scab, Cedar Apple and Cedar Hawthorn Rust as well as Tar Spot. To help you out, we are offering a 20% discount for this one additional application.