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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis


Posted by John Fulton -

With the severe disease and insect pressure we have had, leaves are falling. As we approach September, some of this is to be expected, but some of it is due to damage from insects and diseases. Severely damaged leaves tend to drop early, especially when the leaf attachment is weakened. The causes are various, including: bacterial leaf scorch on pin oaks and red oaks, apple scab on apples and crabapples, anthracnose on many good quality shade trees, verticillium wilt on quality maples and ash trees, and of course Japanese beetle damage on many types of trees.

Bacterial leaf scorch will be an ongoing problem and is life threatening to trees, as is the verticillium wilt. These diseases plug the tissue that carries water to the plant parts, and have no control. Fertilization is about the only option (fertilize at the lawn rate to prevent problems to other plants). The other disease and insect problems happen on an annual basis, and trees should leaf out normally next year. You may, or may not, have the problems again next year depending on the weather.

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