What is dogwood anthracnose?

May was certainly a wet month. The recent showers along with cool temperatures have been bringing anthracnose to flowering dogwoods.

What is dogwood anthracnose? It is a serious fungal disease that attacks flowering dogwoods in cool wet weather when leaves are present. Drought and winter injury weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to the anthracnose. It has been found that consecutive years of severe infections can lead to death of the tree.

The signs and symptoms of anthracnose can be seen on the leaves, flowers, twigs, branches and trunk. The leaves will have irregular tan spots with purple rims. They become distorted as the disease grows. The leaves on the lower branches are infected first, and it climbs up through the tree. Twigs and the trunks are infected with cankers as the disease spreads throughout the tree.


Control of the dogwood anthracnose starts with maintaining a healthy tree. Proper fertilization and watering will help the tree protect itself from the disease. Mulching helps to maintain moisture, and protecting the trunk from mechanical injury. Avoid overhead irrigation of the dogwood tree.   This makes the tree more susceptible to the disease.

If you think your plants are being affected by anthracnose, give Virginia Green a call today and we will come give you a FREE landscape inspection.