Spring Pests & Diseases are Hitting Hard

May 9, 2017 | By Roundtree Landscaping

After a few years of wet springs followed by extreme heat in summer, some tree and shrubs have taken a hard it. Plants that have been stressed by environmental factors are more susceptible to pest infestations and disease infections...especially when the weather favors the them.

Here are a few destructive pests and diseases to watch for now:

What’s that bug?

Spider mites are on the rise. Especially if you have Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) in your landscape. This year, these large evergreens are succumbing to a number of different pest and disease issues. Watch for mottled browning of foliage caused by these tiny sucking arachnids. Miticides treatments can reduce spider mite populations, but they reproduce quickly. Multiple follow up treatments are typically required. Junipers, vegetable plants, hollies and a variety of other trees and shrubs are all at risk. More on spider mites here.

A Fungus Among Us

Diseases such as Phytophthora root rot and Seiridium canker are both caused by fungal pathogens. Again, if you have Italian Cypress in your landscape, they could also be suffering from these diseases. Plants that have Phytophthora root rot are usually improperly planted in compacted soil and then over-watered.

Italian Cypress are being hit hard this year from pests & diseases.

When trees are planted too deep in compacted soils, the root system is weakened and can more easily become infected with a soil pathogen. Over time, if not properly treated, the root system gives way and the tree may fall or need to be removed. Plants prone to root rot include fruit trees, azalea, boxwood, camellia, and Italian cypress.

Seiridium canker is also caused by fungal pathogens that spread by wind from tree to tree to ti enter trees and shrubs through wounds in the bark. Injury from mowers and weedeaters are common entry points for this disease. The fungus eventually moves to the inner tissue, causing irreparable damage. Lesions and blisters on the bark will begin to ooze and once the symptoms are seen, your tree needs professional help ASAP, or to be taken down completely before it becomes a hazard. Other trees that are susceptible to either of these fungal diseases? Leyland Cypress, Arborvitae, Bald Cypress, and Junipers to name a few.

Your Best Defense is a Good Offense!

Start by planted the right pant in the right place; and make sure it’s planted properly. Watering and fertilizing on schedule will also help plants stay strong and better resist pests and diseases. Healthy plants heal faster!


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