Leaf spots are a sign of an infection affecting your plant material. A large number of trees and ornamentals are susceptible to leaf spot. Most are caused by a fungus, though there are a few bacterial leaf spots as well. These spots will vary in size and color, depending on the affected plant and the specific organism involved. In severe cases, leaves will turn yellow and drop prematurely. Most damage from leaf spots occur in the late spring and summer. The organisms that cause leaf spots to thrive are under wet, humid conditions. The fungal spores can splash or be windblown onto young leaves – so any prolonged wet period will facilitate the spread of this disease.
Fungicides aren’t entirely effective, as they cannot cure infected leaves. Control begins with the right plant at the right place. Do not install susceptible plants into an area that will have favorable conditions for leaf spot growth. Prune the plant to increase air circulation and reduce crowding. Clean up all the dead leaves and twigs from under the plant. Leaf spot disease survive on this debris for a long time. By keeping foliage dry and watering the roots and not the leaves – this will help limit the spread of the disease. Overhead irrigation can also spread the disease throughout the plant.
Are you currently seeing leaf spots? Contact our office at 804.285.6200 if you have any questions or would like a free Tree & Shrub estimate!