Are your trees sick?!  We’ve decided to start an educational blog series about the diagnosis and control of common diseases affecting Florida trees. Different disease will affect the varying parts of the tree differently and should be controlled accordingly! First on the list are Foliage Diseases!  

What is a Foliage Disease?

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Most Foliage diseases are just that, — diseases resulting from foliage infections or injuries of one type or another. In other cases, foliage symptoms (color irregularities, wilting, etc.) are not actually the result of foliage diseases, but are INDICATORS of other problems such as nutritional imbalances, root diseases (refer to index), chemical injuries, or environmental stresses that are affecting the tree as a whole. “

Common Foliage Diseases

  1. Blight – Blight presents itself as a rapid discoloration and death of new foliage. This foliage disease is normally caused by bacterial or chemical damage and unseasoned freezes and frosts!
  2. Blistering – Certain fungal infections can cause irregular raised or wrinkled blisters on otherwise green foliage. This commonly seen on oak and peach trees.
  3. Chlorosis –  Chlorosis is the general or inter-veinal yellowing of foliage tissue and is generally caused by nutritional imbalances/deficiencies, increased pH of soil, root diseases, and/or herbicide damage.
  4. Necrosis – Droughts, root disease, vascular dysfunction, salt water intrusion, and excessive fertilizer may be the cause of your Scorch or Necrosis problem. Necrosis appears as wide bands or patches of dry, papery, brown leaf tissue. The dead leaf tissue is most noticeable around the margins and/or tips of the leaves on various types of hardwoods.
  5. Leaf Spots – Are also found on various types of hardwoods and are caused by fungi and some bacteria. The appear as discrete circular or irregular spots and can have various colors.
  6. Ring Spots – Air pollutants, chemical injuries or viruses can cause pattern of tissue yellowing on various types of hardwood foliage.

What should I do? Who should I call?

In several cases, control may not be necessary. However, some foliage diseases may be quite damaging, in which case, you should contact us! We can determine a suitable treatment. Foliage disease treatment will normally include the careful administration of a fungicide/bactericide, selective pruning, and proper disposal of infected leaves and branches. The tree foliage is the most common reason why trees are chosen for landscapes and commercial properties, so recognize the unsightly signs and symptoms and let us help you maintain a beautiful landscape!