If you have a garden no doubt it will have a tree or shrub of some sort in it. You may even have lots of them, in which case you'll need to make sure none of them get any nasty diseases, so we've compiled a list of how to spot those diseases and what to do. In most cases you'll probably need to call in a tree surgeon, but some can also be dealt with yourself.
Diseases can be caused by environmental factors so make sure you always collect and dispose of any fallen leaves from around the bottom of the tree or plant so they do not decay and become diseased. Also make sure to prune to encourage better air circulation so that leaves dry quicker after rainfall and therefore don't suffer from fungi or other diseases.
One of the most common diseases is Apple Scab. Occurring in apple and crabapple trees, it causes them to drop their leaves early, and the leaves will have brown and black spots all over them. For non-chemical control follow the advice above, but for chemical control myclobutanil and difenoconazole both protect against scab disease on apple and pear trees.
Black Knot is one of the more serious diseases, and can prove fatal for the tree. It mainly affects fruit and branches, and starts as a soft green growth on the twigs, before becoming hard, black knots in autumn. Although it only affects certain types of trees, it can kill them within just a couple of years if not treated properly. The key really is prevention, so make sure you spray your trees with a fungicide each spring.
Needle Cast is a disease you will often see. It turns infected needles a red brown colour and makes them look as though they have been scorched by fire. This results in the entire needle dying and shedding. To combat this disease the tree must be in well fertilized soil to encourage growth. Needle Cast typically targets trees suffering from drought distress, so make sure you water them well! A fungicide may also help the tree.
Anthracnose causes brown, dry, patches on leaves which cause them to drop. This disease can make the leaves curl up and die, and it generally targets trees during wet conditions. To get rid of the disease make sure you prune infected parts to get rid of the disease or you could also call in a tree surgeon to treat it. When pruning, make sure you don't prune an oak tree between April and June, as it will make it worse!
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