Written by Jasey Kelly and published on https://homeguides.sfgate.com/.
There’s nothing worse than watching a healthy tree gradually succumb to disease, only to become a safety hazard. Thankfully, properly timed treatment can prevent the production, growth, and spread of the spores that cause tree diseases. Tree disease protection begins with a comprehensive inspection of your landscape by one of our ISA certified arborists. During this inspection, your arborist will determine the overall health of the landscape and recommend disease or other treatments that can improve your tree’s condition while preserving the vitality of your property. Often troublesome and sometimes deadly, tree fungus complicates the life of many gardeners and arborists. Tree fungus can be managed in order to save the tree. Armed with some common gardening tools, a little fungicide and a good schedule of maintenance, any gardener can keep tree fungus at bay.
How to Treat Fungus on a Tree
Fungal diseases account for many of the problems with deciduous trees. In many cases, proper cultural practices will prevent and sometimes even treat outbreaks of certain fungi. Fungicides will help control others, and still one fungal disease in particular, verticillium wilt, is untreatable. Knowing the tree and the fungi is the first step in dealing with the problem.
1. Identify the type of fungi infesting the tree. If you cannot identify it, send a sample to your local extension office for identification. Cankers often appear as darkened areas of bark sometimes sunken in. Verticillium wilt symptoms include early discoloring of leaves or whole branches dying with brown, wilted leaves attached.
2. Thin out the branches of the crown to allow more air circulation within the tree in late winter or early spring with loppers, a pruning saw or chainsaw depending on branch size. When thinning, cut branches back to the main trunk or to a joining branch. This helps prevent and control fungi such as leafspot and powdery mildew, two common fungal diseases.
3. Apply fungicides to the tree at specific times for the specific fungi. Fungicide labels include instructions for various types of fungal diseases. In most cases, an application every seven days is recommended until the problem is taken care of.
4. Destroy leaves infected with powdery mildew or leafspot to prevent the fungi from spreading.
5. Cut out any branches infected with fungal cankers such as hypoxylon, phomopsis or cytospora canker, at least 4 to 6 inches below the canker infection during dry periods or late winter.
6. Fertilize the tree in the early spring, and water as needed. Healthy trees are less prone to fungal and other diseases.
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