Liquid copper fungicide spray

Liquid Copper Fungicide Spray

1 Pint Liquid Concentrate (treats at least 5-6 large trees)

Liquid Copper Fungicide Spray is a key tool in disease prevention and treatment on a large variety of trees. It effectively controls diseases such as anthracnose, bacterial leaf spot, fireblight, and botrytis among many others. It is also an effective method of preventing and treating cold damage in palm trees and can provide protection against light frosts in many plants.

How Is It Applied?
Using either a hose-end sprayer or pressurized hand sprayer, apply at a rate of one gallon mixed spray solution to 200 sq. ft. of garden area or up to two gallons mixed spray solution to a large tree. Thoroughly wet foliage to the point of runoff, taking care to cover all plant surfaces. Agitate the container of mixed spray solution regularly during application to maintain an adequate suspension. Begin the application at the first sign of disease and repeat at 7-14 day intervals as needed. Use shorter interval during periods of frequent rain or when severe disease conditions persist.

How Much Do I Need?
The application rates vary according to tree type and disease intensity, but in general 1 Pint of Liquid Concentrate will treat 5-6 large trees. Full dosage recommendations are included on the label.

What Does It Control?
A large variety of trees and diseases can be treated with Liquid Copper Fungicide Spray. The list below represents a small selection.

anthracnose, apple scab, bacterial canker, blossom and shoot blast, crown or collar rot, fireblight

alternaria twig blight, cercospora leaf spot

deadbud, coryneum blight, brown rot blossom blight

greasy spot, melanose, pink pitting, scab, brown rot

Date palms
pestalotia leaf spot


rhabdocline needlecast

European fan palms
pestalotia leaf spot

Goldenrain trees
bacterial leaf spot

bacterial leaf spot

xanthomonas leaf spot

cercospora leaf spot

Live oaks
ball moss

bacterial leaf spot, anthracnose, algal leaf spot

bacterial leaf spot

bacterial spot, blossom brown rot, leaf curl, shot hole

fireblight, blossom blast

shuck and kernel rot, zonate leaf spot

botrytis blight

Queen palms
exosporium leaf spot, phytophthora bud rot

alternaria leaf spot

powdery mildew, black spot


anthracnose, bacterial blight, many leaf spot infections, downy mildew

walnut blight

Washingtonia palms
pestalotia leaf spot

bacterial leaf spot

What Else Do I Need To Know?

  • This product may be reactive on metal and masonry surfaces such as galvanized roofing. AVOID contact with metal surfaces. Do not spray on cars, houses, lawn furniture, etc.
  • As with all chemical sprays, it is highly recommended that you test spray a small area of the plant you are treating for sensitivity. This product may cause some discoloration of foliage and/or blossoms.
  • As with all pesticides, be sure to read all product labeling carefully before use.

Not available in Canada.

Grounds Maintainance

While robins may be a herald of spring, a sure sign that summer has arrived is the barrage of visits to my office from alarmed tree owners. They arrive with plastic bags of crumpled leaves and concerned looks on their faces. Almost to a person, they have two questions on their mind: “What is killing my tree?” and “What do I spray?” These calls continue through the summer and into fall only to vanish, along with the robins, as winter approaches. Generally, the culprit is one of several fungal leaf diseases that begin to express symptoms as the growing season progresses Fungal leaf diseases of ornamental trees often are frustrating problems. This may seem surprising because foliar diseases are not usually life-threatening. Most otherwise-healthy trees can withstand several seasons of partial defoliation without suffering significant injury. Trees produce an abundance of leaves, so some loss of foliage, in itself, is not a major cause for concern. The loss of many leaves early in the growing season, however, may result in depletion of food reserves as the tree attempts to refoliate. This depletion, particularly if repeated for several years, may leave the tree vulnerable, lacking the energy to defend itself and the reserves to survive additional stresses. Fortunately, heavy and repeated early season defoliation is more the exception than the rule for fungal foliage diseases.

While defoliation may not be a threat to the tree’s life, it can be a threat to your job. Most ornamental trees can survive 20 to 40 percent defoliation with little or no significant injury, but the tree’s owner may notice as little as 5 percent defoliation. Leaves are one of the most visible features of a tree, and people quickly notice any change in appearance. Ten-percent defoliation or discoloration may be cause for alarm for the owner and a call to action. Thus, you are managing foliar diseases primarily as aesthetic problems rather than life-threatening ones.

Another difficulty with managing foliar disease is timing. Once the symptoms are visible, it is usually too late for effective treatment in the current season. This is a never-ending source of frustration to tree owners. I have dealt with many unhappy homeowners who were upset that, while I could identify the disease as a rust or anthracnose, I could not do anything about it now. Managing the problem next year was not soon enough.

One additional source of difficulty with managing foliar diseases is that they typically present you with symptoms rather than signs. Symptoms are changes in the normal appearance of the plant (abnormally small or yellowing leaves, for example) while a sign is physical evidence of the disease agent itself (in the case of fungi, mushrooms, conks or some vegetative portion-hyphae-of the fungus). Signs are the “smoking gun” for disease identification. Once you have identified the sign, you know the disease. Unfortunately, signs are not always visible or available. Bacteria, viruses and other organisms are too small to see even with the aid of a hand lens. Fungi, while larger, still produce few visible signs other than fruiting structures, and these may not be present at the time of identification.

Fungi are among the most common foliar-disease agents, but they are not the only disease organism or disorder to cause leaf symptoms. So how do you determine that the symptoms are due to a fungus? Again, this is not always an easy task, but don’t make the mistake of “picture-booking” your way through the diagnostic process and then try to spray your way out of the problem. There is a saying in the medical profession that applies to the tree-care profession as well: “Prognosis without diagnosis is malpractice.” Always make sure you have identified the problem before you have identified the treatment!

How do you decide if the symptoms are due to a fungus? You have several means of separating symptoms of fungal leaf diseases from those of bacteria. Fungal leaf diseases tend to develop circular or halo patterns on the leaves with the dead interior area a tan color and the surrounding dying tissue a yellow or red color. The affected tissue often has a dry, papery feel. Bacterial leaf diseases often have a more slimy texture, and the disease appears as small, angular spots. Viruses, another possible disease agent, often show up as vein clearing with surrounding tissue remaining green or developing a mosaic-a patchwork of green and yellow. They may also appear as ring spots or flecks. These are only the general patterns of symptoms for each of the major disease organisms and numerous exceptions occur.

Foliar symptoms may also originate from disorders, which are non-living or abiotic factors. Many disorders produce foliar symptoms that mimic those associated with several fungal diseases. Thus, people often blame leaf fungal diseases for problems that have their origin elsewhere. Just because the symptoms appear on the leaves does not mean that this is where the basic problem resides. Browning leaves may be due to a leaf fungus or perhaps a fungus in another part of the tree. The symptoms might even be due to drought, construction within the rooting area, de-icing salts or herbicides, among many other possible agents. With disorders, you’ll never see any signs because there is no pathogen. You must examine the pattern of the symptoms. Uniform injury, either on the leaf or within the canopy, is usually an indication of a disorder. Air pollution and drought injury on conifers, for example, will often show symptoms of needle tip burn with a distinctive boundary between living and dead tissue. Fungi and other living organisms produce a more random pattern of symptoms. Only scattered needles will be affected and to various lengths. The boundary between living and dead tissue will also be less distinct.

Sometimes, leaf curl or discoloration is not due to either a disease or disorder. These are called false symptoms-particular species or cultivar traits that may appear unusual. For example, it’s easy to confuse the deep-yellow variegation of a ‘Rainbow’ dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Rainbow’) leaf with a potential problem if you are not familiar with the cultivar’s ornamental characteristics. Finally, always remember that problems are usually multidimensional rather than caused by a single factor. A tree may have discolored leaves due to a scab and air pollution (and you only can manage one of these).

Know the life cycles Managing fungal leaf diseases not only requires correct identification but also some knowledge about the life cycle. Too often, applicators correctly identify the disease but apply the fungicide treatments at the wrong time. Many fungicides are protectants that provide a protective shield to prevent the fungus from penetrating the plant tissue. Protectants have little or no effect after the fungus enters the plant and becomes established. Therefore, to know when to start fungicide applications and how many to apply, you need to understand the leaf-disease cycle.

The typical life cycle begins in the spring. Spores produced from fruiting structures on dead, fallen leaves or dead twigs still in the canopy become air-borne and infect young, expanding leaves-the most susceptible foliage. The spores germinate and the fungus infects the new leaf and sometimes the young, succulent twigs. Later in the spring and early summer, fruiting structures form on the infected leaves and new infections occur, particularly if cool, moist conditions persist. In late summer or fall, the infected leaves fall and the cycle repeats the following year. If fungicide treatments begin in the summer when the symptoms appear, it’s too late. In addition, if treatments are limited to only one or two sprays in the spring and cool, moist conditions persist into the summer, the disease may still develop. Treating fungus diseases requires good timing and persistence.

While fungi are responsible for many of our leaf problems, the problems are different throughout the country. However, several common types of fungal leaf diseases occur widely and understanding the symptoms and management of these types will be helpful when you are working on a specific disease.

Common fungal leaf diseases of deciduous trees * Anthracnose. Anthracnose diseases probably are the best-known foliar fungal diseases of deciduous trees. They affect many ornamental trees including major shade-tree genera such as sycamore (Platanus spp.), oak (Quercus spp.), maple (Acer spp.), elm (Ulmus spp.) and ash (Fraxinus spp.). Anthracnose actually is a general term describing symptoms such as dead irregular areas that form along and between the main vein of the leaf. The leaves may also become curled and distorted and twigs may die back. The fungus overwinters in infected twigs and the petioles of fallen leaves, and the spores disseminate in the spring by wind and splashing rain. The disease, while unsightly, rarely results in the tree’s death. Sycamores and other trees often withstand many years of partial defoliation. However, one anthracnose disease is more serious.

Dogwood anthracnose (Discula destructiva) is a relatively recent landscaping problem. Pathologists first identified it in the late 1970s, and it has since become a major disease problem on flowering dogwood (C. florida) and Pacific dogwood (C. nuttallii). While Chinese dogwood (C. kousa) is supposedly resistant, some pathologists have reported infections of this species as well. Dogwood anthracnose differs from other anthracnose diseases in that it can kill trees, rather than merely disfigure them. The disease begins with the leaves developing brown spots surrounded by reddish-brown halos. The flower bracts may develop similar symptoms. The disease also spreads to the twigs with the tips of infected shoots turning gray-tan and then dying. These declining branches often support an abundance of water sprouts. Eventually the tree may die from the disease.

*Leaf blisters result in the blistering, curling and puckering of leaf tissue. Oak leaf blister (Taphrina caerulescens) is a common blister disease of oaks, particularly the red-oak subgenus, which includes red oak (Quercus rubra) and pin oak (Q. palustris) among others. The symptoms begin as a slight yellowing of the infected leaf followed by round, raised blisters. These turn brown, and the infected leaves fall prematurely. This fungus overwinters as spores on the buds.

*Leaf spot is another common fungal leaf disease. The general symptoms include dead spots with a defined boundary between living and dead tissue. The dead tissue often separates from the surrounding living tissue creating a “shot-hole” appearance on the infected leaves.

*Tar spot (Rhytisma spp.) is a leaf disease with initial symptoms similar to leaf spot. The disease is most common on red (Acer rubrum) and silver maple (A. saccharinum), but it can occur on a wide range of maple species from sugar (A. saccharum) and Norway (A. platanoides) to bigleaf maple (A. macrophyllum). The symptoms begin in the spring as small greenish-yellow spots on the upper leaf surface that, by mid-summer, progress to black tar-like spots about 0.5 inch in size. The disease is not fatal to the tree, but the appearance of the tar spots alarms some tree owners. A major outbreak in New York about 10 years ago left many maples completely defoliated by mid-August.

* Powdery mildew fungi infect most species of deciduous woody plants. The typical symptoms of this disease are small dusty-white or gray patches that develop by mid-summer. These patches continue to enlarge during the summer, and the entire leaf may eventually appear white. By late summer, tiny brown to black fruiting structures usually develop in these patches. The disease overwinters on the fallen leaves or as mycelium in infected buds. In spring, the fruiting structures release wind- and rain-dispersed spores from the leaves. This fungus grows best in warm, moist conditions. The mycelium, unlike most other foliar diseases, grows on the surface of the leaves rather than within the leaf. Infected leaves may have less photosynthetic capability, but the problem is generally aesthetic. Although this disease rarely results in sufficient injury to warrant treatments, its high visibility is a frequent cause of concern to tree owners.

*Rusts are unusual fungi in that they may require two unrelated hosts to complete their life cycle. Rust fungi produce fruiting bodies on host species “A,” which releases spores that only infect host species “B.” The fungi in “B” produces spores that only infect “A,” and the cycle repeats. The fungi do cause some injury in both hosts, but often only one of the two species has any ornamental value. The rust disease that affects an ornamental tree may have an alternate host that is just an incidental plant in the landscape, or even a crop or a weed. Obviously, a simple solution would be the elimination of the alternate host. While some have attempted this strategy, for example the attempted eradication of Ribes spp. for control of white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), it usually is an impractical undertaking.

Removal of the alternate host also is common recommendation for a rust that affects one of our most popular flowering trees, the crabapple (Malus spp.). However, here again, it generally proves to be impractical. Cedar-apple rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae) is a problem familiar to most people that have a crabapple in their yard. Although many tree owners are aware that the disease must spend part of its life on cedar, to break the cycle you would not only need to remove the redcedars in your yard but also all those within a radius of up to a mile-obviously an impractical task.

* Sooty mold is a common concern to tree owners but it is not an infectious disease. The black soot that appears on leaves is a fungus that lives on the honeydew secreted by aphid and scale insects. The fungus does not live in the leaf, it lives on it. Any other symptoms such as yellowing or curling leaves are due to the insects that produce the honeydew, not the mold. While heavy levels of sooty mold can block enough light to reduce photosynthesis by up to 70 percent, this primarily is an aesthetic problem

Common fungal needle diseases of conifers Foliage problems on conifers are a little more serious than on deciduous trees. Conifers can not refoliate during the same season so the impact can be great. And unlike deciduous trees, the needles are important sites of food reserves for conifers. Fortunately most foliar diseases infect either the older needles or the new ones, so some foliage remains, and the trees rarely die from these diseases. However, an infected tree can look so bad that you may hope that it dies! Needle diseases are of three types: needle cast, needle blight and needle rust.

* Needle casts are a common problem with many conifers throughout the country. These diseases affect only the needles on newly formed shoots, but the symptoms are not evident until the following spring. The infected needles develop spots that turn tan to reddish-brown. The fungal fruiting structures emerge on these needles and are usually large enough to be visible to the eye. Rhizosphaera needle cast (Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii) is probably one of the most common cast diseases because it infects one of the most ubiquitous trees in the landscape, Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens). A season after infection, the needles turn reddish brown to purple, with the fruiting structures appearing as rows of small dots running lengthwise along the needles. These infected needles are cast (dropped) in the fall. Trees infected with this disease for many years may only have the current year’s needles remaining rather than the 5- to 8-year complement of needles a healthy spruce maintains.

* Sphaeropsis blight (Sphaeropsis sapinea), formerly called diplodia twig blight, is one of the most common needle blights, thought it is more a shoot blight. It infects the young, succulent shoots and needles on two-and three-needled pines with Austrian pine (Pinus nigra), ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) and Scots pine (P. sylvestris) being the most susceptible. This disease typically does not show up until the trees reach maturity. Infected trees have stunted, twisted candle growth with the expanding needles becoming straw-colored and then brown. Sphaeropsis twig blight produces small black fruiting structures on the cone scales and at the base of the infected needles.

Several rust diseases affect conifers. Spruce needle rust (Chrysomixa spp.) and pine needle rust (Coleosporum asterum) to name two. Fortunately, with the exception of white pine blister rust-really a canker rust rather than a needle rust-these diseases are not a major problem in ornamental landscapes.

Cultural control measures for common fungus problems Foliage must remain wet for a period of several hours or more for spores to germinate, so persistently cool, moist weather is ideal for fungal leaf-disease development. While you can do nothing about the weather, irrigating in the early evening and maintaining dense plantings can achieve the same environmental conditions that favor disease. Therefore, always maintain good air circulation and never irrigate leaves in the evening-they may not dry completely until morning. Pruning can thin the plant to allow better air circulation. (Pruning also is important for removing dead, infected twigs that, for some diseases, are a source of spores in the spring. However, in most instances, pruning is more cosmetic than disease control.)

Raking fallen leaves is a common recommendation for removing the primary source of next year’s infections. While this may be effective in certain instances, it is nearly impossible to eliminate all the infected leaves from a property, let alone the fallen leaves from adjacent properties. In addition, many fungal leaf diseases overwinter in the buds, twigs and cones remaining in the tree, so raking may have a minimal effect on the level of spore production.

Deciding if chemical treatments are needed Fungal leaf diseases generally do not require chemical treatments because they usually are not life-threatening. Here are some of the questions you should consider before deciding to apply a treatment.

*Have you correctly identified the disease agent? *Has the tree withstood several years of partial or complete defoliation due to this disease? *Has the tree recently experienced heavy stress from other pests or disorders? *Is the disease life-threatening to the tree? *Is the host tree so valuable or visible that the loss of some foliage will concern the client? * Is the client aware that several treatments may be necessary this growing season and that the disease may come back again next year? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it may not be appropriate for you to treat-at least without additional information.

Chemical treatments for common fungus problems Treatment of many fungal leaf diseases is with protectants (see the tables on page XX for a list of treatments and fungicide sources). This requires maintaining a chemical barrier between the leaf and the fungus, which means repeated applications at fixed intervals-usually 7 to 10 days-beginning with bud break for deciduous trees or the formation of the candle for conifers. You typically need to make three applications, though more may be necessary if cool, moist conditions persist into the summer.

Several systemic fungicides also are available for treatment of fungal leaf diseases. You can trunk-inject these products into the plant, which then translocates them to the leaves and shoots. Because systemics are not subject to weathering, they can provide a longer period of treatment than other fungicides. Adjacent homeowners appreciate these products because they produce no drift. However, be sure to use the proper techniques to minimize wounding to the tree. And remember, you are wounding the tree when you inject, so the benefits should always outweigh the risks. Also, timing for systemic injections may be different than for the typical foliar application. In some instances, the most effective time to treat is fall, as with thiabendazole to manage sycamore anthracnose.

Fungal leaf diseases are a challenge to identify and manage. Avoid the temptation to quickly reach for the sprayer at the first appearance of leaf symptoms. First, identify the agent or agents responsible for the symptoms. Then, if it is a fungal leaf disease, determine the potential damage to the tree’s health and appearance. And finally, remember that it’s too late to do much right now, but it’s just about right to begin planning for spring treatments.

Dr. John Ball is associate professor of forestry at South Dakota State University (Brookings, S.D.).

Arbortech Tree Specialists


Treatment Programs are specific to conditions that are causing decline to the trees and shrubs on your property. Treatments are designed to meet longevity, tree specie and fit in with the personal preferences of our customers.

The majority of tree diseases are caused by fungi that are weather related. Protective treatments work well to retard fungus development. Control methods range from Foliar Spray to Trunk Injections and include good cultural practices. Fungus diseases can affect the roots, leaves and needles, trunks and vascular systems of trees and shrubs.

Tree vigor is most important when treating fungus problems. Fertilization and preventative methods of control are most affective in protecting your valuable plants. Tree selection is a priority when creating a landscape that will be disease free.

Arbortech can help you to keep your property healthy and beautiful.


Secondary problems, which can be insect infestations, disease pathogens or pathological decline, are all the result of a primary condition.

The soil environment that is home for your tree must exhibit mineral, organic matter, water and air in adequate proportions. Any lack of one or more of these properties can and most likely will result in the invasion of a secondary decline.

Insect pests and disease pathogens are opportunistic and recognize when it serves them best to attack.

Soil compaction has been found to be a number one contender in the primary decline category. Compaction is nearly always the result of a man made action, but also can be the result of naturally occurring conditions, such as heavy pounding rain.

Driveways which border trees, pedestrian walkways, landscape projects which require heavy equipment are just a few of the reasons soils can become compacted.

Arbortech has the experience to recognize this most damaging condition and the ability to correct it with the most modern equipment available. Air Spades are most valuable when addressing soil compaction problems.

Feeding and Aeration stations will help eliminate tree failure and secondary problems from damaging your trees and shrubs.

Hydro-aeration is another valuable tool when dealing with hard packed soils and allows both fertilizers and organic material such as Mycorrhizae to be introduced at the same time.

Arbortech has diagnostic tools available to determine exactly which method of aeration is best for your trees and shrubs.


Plant vigor is essential for maintaining landscape trees and shrubs. The stress of urban and suburban landscapes usually comes from the lack of natural resources which nourish trees. When leaf debris is removed, your plants source of food goes with it. The loss of these natural nutrients leaves an open door for a loss of vigor resulting in tree decline as both insect and disease pathogens recognize weakness and know when to attack.

An appropriate invigoration program must take into account tree age and specie, existing soil conditions, current tree health, location and what specific nutrients are most needed.

Both Spring and Fall Soil Amendments are most valuable, especially in our changing environment.

Knowing whether or not to fertilize a sick tree is most important. Some fertilization products can increase insect populations, while other fertilizers can aide in the development of fungal spores and disease.

Mycorrhizae and other organic bio-stimulants, such a Sea-Kelp have proven themselves to be very affective for plant invigoration.


What is Verticillium Wilt?

Verticillium is a fungal disease of many species of trees, shrubs and crops. As described in its name Verticillium Wilt causes a distinct wilting, browning and curling of leaves, which is usually its first visual indication your trees or shrubs have a problem. Verticillium fungus in short will foul or block the xylem vascular tissues of the host plant, thus causing a reduction of water and nutrients to the crown or foliage of the plant.

Verticillium can kill a plant quickly or in many cases can be a slow declining type of death. Some symptoms reveal yellowing of leaves, defoliation, stunted growth and discoration of the stem tissue when a pruning cut is made. If the host plant should succumb to Verticillium, the area in which that host lived will be infected with the inoculates of the disease. These inoculates will remain in the soil environment for long periods of time and can infect new trees or shrubs planted in this area if the new host is of a susceptible specie. The disease can also be spread by root to root contract, from one tree to another. Pruning from a disease tree to a healthy tree can occur, if pruning tools are not sterilized between cuts. This persistent disease is spread thru airborne means. Some insect pests can also act as vectors to transmit this disease.

How can Verticillium be controlled?

Plant disease resistant varieties. Do not plant non-resistant varieties in areas where this disease was previously present. Sterilize pruning tools between cuts. Keep tree and shrubs vigor up thru fertilization. There are various Trunk Injections that may be valuable in suppressing the spread of this fungus. They should be applied after determining the degree of infection in the host tree. Arbortech can help you make the decision as to whether to treat or not. Some susceptible tree specie are Maple, BoxElder, Horse Chestnut, Ohio Buckeye, ServiceBerry, Boxwood, Northern and Southern Catalpa, Camphor tree, YellowWood, Dogwood, Smoke tree, Quince, Russian Olive, Ash, Kentucky Coffee, English Walnut, Golden Rain tree, Tulip, Osage Orange, Magnolia, Black Gum, Cork, Pin Oak, Red Oak, Black Locust, Japanese Pagoda, Linden and various Elm species. Some resistant or immune species are Sycamore, Alder, Birch, Hop Hornbeam, Hickory, Pecan, Chinese Chestnut, Hackberry, Hawthorne, Beech, Honey Locust, Holly, Walnut, Butternut, Larch, White Oak, Willow Oak, Willow and Zelkova trees.


What is Fireblight?

Fireblight is a bacterial infection that can become prominent in wet weather conditions in the early spring. This bacterium can cause the death of buds, leaves, flowers and new growth. The decline from fireblight in our area is usually found on Crabapple, Callery Pear, Cotoneaster, Spirea, Mountain Ash and Quince.

How can I tell if my trees have Fireblight?

The most obvious visual symptom of Fireblight is when leaves become shriveled and black, as if scorched by fire.

What can be done to help trees suffering from Fireblight?

Over nitrogen fertilization can stimulate the development of Fireblight* Plant resistant species* There are chemical spray applications available as well as Trunk Injection products that provide control if applied in a timely fashion by and experienced licensed applicator* Arbortech is very skilled in treating trees infected with Fireblight.

There are many varieties of trees that are resistant to Fireblight that are easily found in local nurseries. Arbortech can gladly provide you with a list of these trees upon request.


What is Phomopsis Twig blight?

Phomosis is another fungal disease that is moisture related. Overwatering, poor site drainage and wet spring weather are all contributors to this damaging disease. Phomopsis loves to attack Juniper, Taxus, Arborvitae, Fir, Hemlock and Larch among others.

How will I know if my plants have Phomopsis?

Usually the first signs are the dying back and browning of branch tips. Foliage can become faded and reddish brown. The black fruiting bodies of these fungal spores can be found at the base of diseased and dead needles. This fungus prefers to attack young new tissue. Usually the darker color, more mature tissue is not as vulnerable.

What can be done to avoid and control this disease?

Plant species that are resistant to this problem. Avoid over watering and make sure plants get appropriate sunlight. Chemical sprays applications should be applied at proper times by a knowledgeable licensed pesticide applicator. Arbortech can provide you with the expertise needed to achieve optimum results. Plants that have been found to be resistant to Phomopsis include common Juniper (Juniperus communis hornibrookii), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis), Marcella, Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis), Glauca Hetzii, Pfitzerana Aurea, Var. sergentii and Aurea Gold Coast.


What is Cytospora Canker?

Cytospora is a fungal disease that primarily affects Spruce trees, such as Blue, Norway and White Spruce. This is a slow moving fungus that can continue to kill off branches in the host tree for years. In most cases, the continued loss of branches lessens the tree’s aesthetic value and removal become inevitable.

How will I know if my Spruce has Cytospora?

Cytospoa creates the formation of open wounds (cankers). These open wounds ooze sap which can become white and crusty in appearance. The developing wounds will girdle the branch that is involved. The Cankers release spores that can blow, splash and drip onto other healthy branches that can become infected, spreading the disease.

What can I do to help my diseased Spruce tree?

First and most important, is to have your Spruce inspected by a professional who can diagnose the problem correctly. Infected branches should be surgically pruned out. Diseased branches and other fallen Spruce debris should be removed from the area as it will act as a form of inoculum and cause new and continued infection. The infected debris contains fungal spores that are the primary source of re-infection. Spruce trees growing too close to each other, stressed by low fertility or drought conditions are more susceptible than others. Arbortech can help to prolong the life of your Spruces by putting them on a program of proper pruning, aeration and fertilization.


What is Leaf Scab/Apple Scab?

Scab is another weather related fungal disease. This disease can occur year after year, causing trees to defoliate and become susceptible to secondary conditions such as insect invasion and other disease pathogens. Leaf Scab in our area is commonly found on Apple trees, Pear, Mountain Ash, Crabapples and Quince.

How will I know if Leaf Scab is on my trees?

In early spring, brown and green spots start to become noticeable on leaves. As the disease develops leaves become discolored, brown and start to fall prematurely. Crabapples that are primarily planted for aesthetic value showing brilliant spring blossoms and fruit become landscape eyesores.

What can I do if my trees get Leaf Scab?

As with most fungal diseases try to plant resistant species* When planting popular trees such as Crabapple, be sure to buy one of the many varieties that show good resistance* Rake up fallen and infected leaves* There are many chemical sprays that work well to control Leaf Scab. Trunk Injections are also good control techniques for controlling this problem* Timing of treatments is essential when dealing with Leaf Scab.

Arbortech has a program and strategy specifically designed to keep your trees healthy and fungal free. We can also steer you in the right direction when picking the most suitable choice of plant for your landscape.


What is Diplodia Tip Blight?

Scotch, Austrian, Mugho and Red Pines are the primary targets of this persistent weather related fungal disease. As trees mature, Diplodia kills more and more new growth each year. Like many other fungal diseases Diplodia lessens tree vigor, appearance and overall health, which is an invitation to secondary problems such as insect infestation.

What are the signs and symptoms of Diplodia Tip Blight?

Moist, rainy, cool weather is optimum for the spread and development of this disease. These patterns cause needles to turn brown and drop. Continual over wintering persistence of this fungus can cause whole branches to die.

What can be done to address a Diplodia Tip Blight infection?

Plant susceptible species of Pines appropriately, leaving room for air circulation to aide in the drying process during wet rainy spring weather. Remove infected fallen needles from area. Prune off infected dead tissue when trees are dry to avoid spreading spores to other parts of the tree and other nearby susceptible trees. Keep tree vigor up thru fertilization. There are several fungicide treatments available that can be applied by means of Trunk Injection or Foliar spray applications. Multiple spray applications are usually needed at appropriate times, all of which depend on prevailing weather conditions. In most cases treatments are applied for several years in a row to achieve good results. Arbortech has had excellent success with treatments for Diplodia Tip Blight.


What is Armillaria Root Rot?

Armillaria is a fungal disease that can attack a variety of tree species. The fungus loves old rotten tree stumps and dead roots. It has been the demise of many a beautiful big Oak or Maple. Trees growing in close proximity to decaying stumps or other infected trees can become infected. The loss of sound wood and structural roots caused by Armillaria can claim responsibility for tree failure in windy conditions or ice storms.

How will I know if my tree has Armillaria?

The symptoms and signs of this disease are often noticed by yellowing foliage and die-back on twigs and branches. Armillaria can persist on larger trees for many years while smaller trees may fail within only a short time. In many cases the presence of mushrooms at the base around the trunk or beneath the canopy is prominent. Some areas of bark may separate form the tree revealing a white mat of living fungus called a mycelial fan.

How can this disease be addressed?

Plant vigor is most important in prolonging the life of trees that are infected and also as a preventative measure to help protect them. Drought stress enhances the spread of this disease, so watering can be helpful. There are some indications that treating the infected soil around trees with Armillaria, with good fungus spores, called Trichoderma may be helpful as the good fungus tends to eat up or feed on the bad fungus. Arbortech can provide you with a plan to save your tree after inspection and diagnosis in confirmed. Planting of resistant species is recommended. Here a few you might like to consider:


What is Black Knot?

Black Knot is a serious disease in the US that affects many trees in the Prunus specie, Purple Plum, Cherry, Peach and Prune are among a few of its victims.

Smaller twigs and branches often die within a year of being infected. Larger limbs may survive for several years, but sooner or later will become girdled by the fungus. Eventually the entire tree may be come so seriously infected, it will fail, if affective control measures are not taken.

Where does Black Knot come from?

The Causual fungus (Apiosporina morbosa) is responsible for Black Knot outbreaks. The fungus over winters on branches, twigs and in previously infected knots. The fungus produces spores that are spread thru the air on windy days, splashing rains and can also be spread on contaminated pruning tools.

Asko spores that land on new succulent growth can germinate and cause infection to new areas of the same tree and nearby trees that are susceptible.

How can I protect my trees from Black Knot?

Pruning out infected knots will help if done properly. Cut at least 2 – 4 inches below each knot and sterilize pruning tool between each cut. Remove all resulting debris from property, bury or burn. When purchasing nursery stock, examine closely for the presence of existing Black Knots. Fungicide sprays can offer significant protection against this fungus if proper pruning and sanitation is not ignored. Timing of all spray applications is essential. Arbortech can provide a professional program to implement all of the above.


What is Anthracnose?

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that can affect both shade and ornamental trees. Some of its victims can be Ash, Oak, Sycamore, Basswood, Black Walnut, birch, Tulip, Dogwood, Catalpa, Horse Chestnut, Hickory and Maple trees. This fungus attacks the foliage and can re-infect year after year, resulting in a weakened tree which is susceptible to secondary problems such as insect infestations, Canker and Witches Broom. In spring over wintering Anthracnose spores can be spread thru the air by wind and splashing rain. If the weather is cool and moist these spores will germinate and affect newly formed tender leaf tissue. This fungus has been quite devastating to Ash, White Oak, Maple and Sycamore trees in our area for many years.

How will I know if my trees have Anthracnose?

Evidence of the Anthracnose varies, depending on the tree specie being infected. Homeowners usually notice it when leaves prematurely litter their lawn. Leaves develop spots and blotches that can be black, brown, purple or tan in color and become shriveled and distorted.

How can this disease be controlled?

Removal of fallen infected leaves from the site is most important as it acts as a form of inoculums which can affect the tree and other host trees again next year. Keeping tree vigor up is valuable, by fertilizing and watering. When planting, install resistant tree species. Anthracnose resistant trees can include London Plane, Oriental Plant tree and Oaks in the Red Oak group. Several control methods are available. Fungicide spray applications can be applied using a variety of specific application techniques. Arbortech uses both Trunk Injection and various Foliar sprays, in addition to a tree invigoration and aeration program.


What is Slime Flux?

Slime Flux is a bacterial disease usually brought on by physiological stress factors.

Tree wounds, natural cracks and splits, insects, poor pruning practices, soil compaction and poor branch angles are just a few factors that can cause a Slime Flux reaction.

Once trees become involved with Slime Flux, they can attract insect pests such as worms maggots, flies and ants that will further weaken the tree.

What can be I do if I see this Slime Flux condition?

Try to eliminate the stress factors that maybe causing the tree to react. Fluxing areas can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Have a professional address proper treatment directions. Tree invigoration can help along with Surgical Bark Tracing techniques.

Arbortech can provide the best approach to controlling this problem.


What is Sooty Mold?

Sooty Mold is a fungus that grows on the secretions from plant exudates and insects such as Aphids, Whitefly, Scale and other sucking type insects. Sooty Mold is mainly considered a cosmetic problem and does not damage plants unless allowed to become excessive. It may cause yellowing of foliage and stunt the growth of the host plant. The main visual indication of this fungus is a black powdery coating on plant foliage.

How do I get rid of Sooty Mold?

Sooty Mold is easy to control. Simply get rid of the insect pest and the Sooty Mold will go away. Unfortunately, once this fungus is on the foliage it takes quite awhile to wash off. There are several environmentally friendly systemic pesticides available that control the pests that create Sooty Mold. Plants underneath a canopy of a larger tree will often be subject to repeated Sooty Mold problems as the honeydew from pests feeding on the overhanging larger trees will drip down and continue to affect under story plants.

Arbortech can solve your Sooty Mold problems by Foliar Sprays, Trunk Injections, Trunk Drenches or Soil Drenches.

SEIRIDIUM CANKER (seiridum unicorne)

What is Seiridium Canker?

Seiridium Canker is a cankerous fungal disease which can affect Leyland Cypress, Arborvitae, Bald Cypress, Arizona & Italian Cypress and Junipers, among others.

This disease can seriously damage and kill trees. Seiridium Canker is brought on by stress, usually weather related, such as drought, winter desiccation and other physiologic problems. The disease is vascular in nature and can spread quite rapidly if not treated.

How will I know if my trees have Seiridium Canker?

The first visual signs are flagging (dead brown branches) of foliage, usually quite obvious when looking at the entire tree from a distance. Upon closer inspection a swollen area or canker can appear which sometimes oozes sap from the cracks that are created. These open cracks are an open wound by which fungal spores can enter when wind spreads them. On many occasions Leyland Cypress, Arborvitae and Junipers are planted in a row for privacy, the disease can spread thru out the entire row quickly.

What can I do if I see indications my trees are infected?

Surgical/sterilized pruning is a first and most important step. Cutting away any infected tissue a few inches below the canker is most important. Plant invigoration and hydration is very helpful in putting this disease in check.

Arbortech can put your trees on a program that will save these infected plants if diagnosed early enough.


What is Rhabdocline?

Rhabdocline is a fungus that affects Douglas Fir only. It has caused the demise of many a Christmas tree nursery and many beautiful landscapes with Douglas Fir trees.

How will I know if my Fir tree has Rhabdocline?

In late winter or early spring look for reddish brown splotches on the upper needle surface. There is a distinct division between the diseased tissue and the surrounding healthy green tissue. As with most fungal diseases, high humidity, rain, and heavy morning dew cause this infection to occur. Early spring is the time when buds are opening and susceptible new growth become infected.

How can Rhabdocline be controlled?

Keep plant vigor up!

Remove and destroy heavily infected trees before bud break. Prune and remove infected limbs and branches. In early spring, Fungicide spray applications should start, when buds are just starting to break open. Usually four spray applications are needed and must be applied in a timely fashion.

Arbortech can treat your Fir trees and keep them healthy.

RUST (Gymnosporangium)

What is a Rust Fungus?

There are (3) Rust fungi that can affect the trees in our area. All these fungi have a symbiotic relationship to Eastern Red Cedar. Without the Eastern Red Cedar, there would be no problem. The spores from these fungi become wind-borne and travel from Cedar to host plant, which may include Apple, Pear, Hawthorne, Quince and Crabapple. In spring, Galls which are known as Cedar Apples can be found on Eastern Red Cedar, become wet and yellow with gelatinous horn protrudes which spew the Rust spores thru out the neighborhood finding their way to your flowering and fruit producing trees. These fungal disease spores infect the leaves and fruits of the host trees and will re-develop on the undersides of those leaves or fruit lesions and then are carried back to the Cedar trees by wind or rain, to start the cycle all over again.

How will I know if I have Rust on my trees?

Rust is easy to spot. Small yellow to orange spots appear on leaf surfaces. In many cases orange/yellow pustules called Aecia are produced and very visible. Check out the pictures and compare them to your trees leaves.

How can I control Rust on my trees?

Plant trees that are resistant to Rust. Don’t plant susceptible trees in the same area as Red Cedar. Diseased trees can be treated with both Foliar sprays or Trunk Injections. Arbortech has a program for your Rust problems. Keep infected plant invigorated.


What is NeedleCast fungus?

NeedleCast disease is a fungal condition that prefers various species of Spruce trees, especially blue Spruce. Although it may take awhile to kill your Spruce, it will most certainly make your tree so unsightly you won’t want to look at it anymore.

Healthy Spruce trees usually hold their needles for as long as 5 years. Once Rhizosphaera attacks, infected trees can barely hold their needles for one year.

How will I know if my Spruce has NeedleCast?

NeedleCast usually starts to show up at the bottom of the tree first. Defoliation and browning needles become evident. Although needles become infected in May and June, symptoms are not visible until the fall. As the fall season continues, more and more needles may turn purple or brown and start to drop.

How can NeedleCast be controlled?

Keep tree vigor up by fertilizing and mulching. When removing dead or dying limbs, use sterile pruning tools. Shearing or shaping infected trees may spread the disease. Do not shear or shape when needles are wet as this also spreads the condition.

Fungicide spray applications work well if applied in a timely manner by a licensed applicator who knows what chemical to use and when to use it. This is when Arbortech can help save your Spruces and keep them looking great.


What is Phytophthora?

Phytophthora is a soil borne fungal disease. The spores of this fungus love wet as well as oxygen deprived soil conditions. Compacted soils tend to pool water which stimulates the germination of this fungus. When infected water splashes onto cracks, crevices or wounded bark, it can enter thru these openings and find itself a suitable place to survive and wreak havoc. This fungal disease causes a disruption in the flow of water to the crown of the tree. Leaves can become abnormally small, become wilted, stunt shoot growth and cause lesions on the branches and trunk that ooze or bleed a red-brown liquid.

Phytophthora fungal species can affect American & European Beech, Cherry, Dogwood, several species of Maple, Oak, Willow and Walnut, including a variety of shrubs. There are species of Phytophthora fungi that can damage shrubs as well, such as Boxwood, Rhododendron, Azalea, Andromeda, Mountain Laurel, Juniper and Yew.

What can I do if my trees get Phytophthora?

Too little as well as too much water is a contributing factor to this disease. Try to manage a good soil balance. Maintain a well drained site thru aeration. Mulch or ground cover can prevent wounding of bark areas by reducing puddling. There are several treatments available that include Fungicide Trunk Drenches, Soil Drenches and Trunk Injections that show promise in controlling this disease. An Arborist who is keeping up with developing treatments is most valuable.

(Phytophthora Cactorum)

What is Crown Canker?

Crown Canker is a fungal disease which affects Dogwood (Cornus Florida) and may kill the tree or make it weak and susceptible to other secondary declining factors such as opportunistic insect Borers.

Disease can originate from mechanical injury during transplanting, weed-wacking, mower injuries, etc.

How will I know if my Dogwood has Crown Canker?

The symptoms and signs of this condition include:

* Reduced number and size of leaves
* Leaf color appears faded
* Foliage turns yellow and red in late summer and may prematurely defoliate
* Trees with Crown Canker may produce an abnormally large number of fruits and flowers
* Leaves may appear to be curled, wilted or shriveled
* Top or crown starts to die and a Canker is usually present in the lower trunk
* On occasion this lower wounded area will ooze fluid

What can be done if my Dogwood has Crown Canker?

Surgical treatment of infected tissue will help. Application of an anti-fungal dressing may also be of value. Fertilization to boost vigor is most important.

If you Dogwood should fail, do not plant another Dogwood in the same area. Arbortech can best advise you as to which direction to consider.

Horticulture — U of M Varieties — Tree fruits — Apples — #1

Prevention is the best medicine for fighting diseases on apples and other fruit trees

Face next season’s fruit tree disease and pest problems by making a preventative strategy now.

Since late winter is a good time to plant bareroot trees, the first line of defense is to choose a resistant variety. Otherwise, look to sanitation and low-toxicity sprays such as dormant oil and copper to keep trees healthy.

First up, be vigilant about removing dropped fruit and leaves that might be harboring pests.

Follow that with appropriate sprays to get at those pesky insects, fungi and bacteria that like to make a home in cracks and crevices, said Ross Penhallegon, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Spraying in late fall to early spring is more effective than waiting until the weather warms up and pests become active.

Here are Penhallegon’s recommendations for the least toxic sprays and treatments for fruit trees:

Dormant oil: Mix with water as directed and spray on all surfaces of the trunk, branches and twigs. The best time to control mites, aphids and scale is early to mid-March, just before the tree begins to emerge from dormancy.

Apply when the temperature is expected to rise during the day; temperatures below 35 degrees can damage the bark. Dormant oil controls aphids, scale, spider mites and many other insects by desiccating or smothering eggs and larvae.

Lime-sulfur: Spray to control fungal and bacterial diseases such as peach leaf curl, pseudomonas and scab. It’s very important not to apply sulfur sprays to apricots.

Fixed copper: Spray on apples, pears, cherries, peaches and plums to control canker. Allow two weeks between applications of copper and any sprays containing sulfur. Add a spreader-sticker product to help copper adhere to the tree surface.

Latex paint: Coat the trunks of young trees with white exterior latex paint diluted in half with water. The paint reflects strong sunlight and prevents sunburn and winter burn that can cause tissue damage and lead to cracks, a favorite place for pests to overwinter and cause substantial winter damage.

These products are usually available at garden centers. Always follow label directions.

Here are some tips from Penhallegon for specific fruit trees:

Apples: Spray copper as the leaves are falling; dormant oil once or twice from February through March; copper in January or February (just before buds open) and wettable sulfur just after petal fall.

Apricots: Spray copper before the fall rains; dormant oil in February.

Cherries: Use wettable sulfur or lime-sulfur applied weekly during blooming for brown rot.

Pears: Spray copper before the fall rains. Apply lime-sulfur two to three times between early December and March beginning in fall, again during winter and finally just before buds open in March. Use dormant oil in early spring before buds open and wettable sulfur just after petal fall.

Peaches: Spray copper or a good dormant fungicide three to four times between December and bud break, usually once a month starting December 15 and ending March 15. Spray fungicides during break in fall rains and in early spring just before bud break.

For more information, contact your local Extension office or submit a question to Extension’s Ask an Expert online helpdesk. For a more expanded look on subject, check out Extension’s publication Growing Tree Fruit and Nuts in the Home Orchard.
–Kym Pokorny, OSU Extension Services

What Is Copper Fungicide – How To Use Copper Fungicide In Gardens

Fungal diseases can be a real problem for gardeners, especially when weather is warmer and wetter than usual. Copper fungicides are often the first line of defense, especially for gardeners who prefer to avoid chemical fungicides. Using copper fungicides is confusing, but knowing exactly when to use copper fungicide is the key to success. However, fungal diseases are difficult to control and results aren’t guaranteed. Let’s explore these issues.

What is Copper Fungicide?

Copper is a metal that, in dissolved form, penetrates plant tissues and helps control fungal diseases such as:

  • Powdery mildew
  • Downy mildew
  • Septoria leaf spot
  • Anthracnose
  • Black spot
  • Fire blight

That said, its effectiveness is limited against late blight of potatoes and tomatoes. Because copper is toxic, it can also cause serious damage by killing plant tissues. If you are considering using copper fungicide, be sure to

read the label carefully. There are many formulations of copper products on the market, differing widely in the amount of copper, active ingredients, rate of application and other factors.

It’s also important to note that copper doesn’t break down in the soil and can become a soil contaminant in time. Use copper fungicides sparingly and only as needed.

When to Use Copper Fungicide

Don’t expect copper fungicide to cure an existing fungal disease. The product works by protecting plants against development of new infections. Ideally, apply copper fungicide before fungus is visible. Otherwise, apply the product immediately when you first notice signs of fungal disease.

If the fungus is on fruit trees or vegetable plants, you can safely continue to spray every seven to 10 days until harvest. If possible, spray plants when you’ll have at least 12 hours of dry weather following application.

How to Use Copper Fungicide

Typically, fungicides are applied at a rate of 1 to 3 teaspoons per gallon of water. However, it’s critical to read the label directions carefully to determine rate of application for each specific product. Reapply the product every seven to 10 days because fungicides degrade after application.

Fungicides are generally not harmful to bees. However, it’s best not to spray when bees are actively foraging on plants. Never apply copper fungicide on very hot days.

Never mix copper fungicides with other chemicals. Never over-apply fungicides.

Note: Contact your local cooperative extension office to learn specific information on copper fungicide uses in your particular situation. For example, some diseases are best treated in fall.

Peach leaf curl

Did you have peach leaf curl last growing season? If you had a severe enough problem, now is the time to apply fungicide. Historically, the most commonly used fungicides available to home gardeners have been the fixed copper products. For all copper-containing products, the active ingredient, copper, is listed as “metallic copper equivalent,” or MCE, on the label.

Peach leaf curl is a fungal disease that affects only peach and nectarine trees. Distorted, reddened foliage in the spring is a distinctive symptom. Newly emerging leaves and shoots thicken and pucker and later may die and fall off. A leaf curl infection that continues untreated for several years will contribute to a tree’s decline. To prevent peach leaf curl, treat peach and nectarine trees with a fungicide every year after leaves fall. Treatment in spring after symptoms appear won’t be effective. When planting, consider growing peach varieties resistant to the disease.

Look for symptoms in spring.

  • New leaves and shoots redden and pucker. Leaves may yellow or be covered with powdery, gray spores; they also might drop.
  • Cool, wet spring weather prolongs disease development.
  • A second set of normal leaves will replace fallen leaves, and tree growth will appear normal after weather turns dry and warm (79º to 87ºF), although spores that can infect next year’s growth may remain.
  • Symptoms won’t appear later in the season.

Treat trees with a fungicide in late fall.

  • Treat just after leaves have fallen, usually late November.
  • Although a single treatment is sufficient in most areas, a second application in late winter just before buds swell may be advisable in areas with high rainfall or during very wet winters.
  • Don’t apply fungicides during the growing season because they won’t be effective.

Make fungicide applications effective and safe.

  • The fungal spores that cause the disease germinate in the spring and spend the winter on twigs and buds. When you spray a fungicide, thoroughly cover all branches and twigs so all spores are killed.
  • All peach leaf curl fungicides have environmental and health risks. Wear protective clothing, and follow label directions to stop drift or runoff.
  • After many years of use, copper ions from copper-based fungicides can accumulate in soil. This can harm soil microorganisms and, through runoff, aquatic organisms. Take care when using these materials to avoid excessive dripping.

For complete information on Peach leaf curl go to:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *