How to Identify and Treat Common Tree and Turf Diseases

Author: Touré Foster

Posted in: Landscaping

How to Identify and Treat Common Tree and Turf Diseases

Trees and turf are susceptible to varying types of diseases. It’s actually quite common. The good news is that similar to human diseases, if it’s caught early, you can usually treat tree and turf diseases before they cause too much harm to your landscape. So, it’s important to be on the lookout for diseased trees or turf. Read on to learn more about the more common diseases and how to treat them.

Three Common Tree Diseases

Diseased trees can become hazards if not treated. As they become weaker, they’re vulnerable to severe weather and could fall onto your property. To prevent this situation, learn about some common diseases affecting trees that you should be aware of.

1. Anthracnose 

Anthracnose is caused by a group of fungi that attacks leaves, twigs, flowers and fruits of trees and shrubs, most notably the flowering dogwood. It initially presents itself on leaves as spots with tan or purple borders. From there, the disease moves to twigs and branches. You can try to treat the disease first by getting rid of any dead twigs, branches, and infected leaves. But if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to purchase and apply a copper-based fungicide.

2. Tar spot

Tar spot is a fungal disease in which you’ll first notice small, yellow spots on the leaves. However, as the disease progresses, the spots turn black and look like small blobs of tar. These spots contain fungal spores that can live through the winter.

To treat the disease, you can apply a fungicide to the spots. However, it’s important to note tar spots don’t really cause damage to the tree. So, the cost of treatment may outweigh the benefits.

3. Armillaria Root Rot

Armillaria Root Rot is another fungal-caused disease that weakens the tree. It presents as yellow or brown leaves and inhibits growth. Once weakened, the tree is vulnerable to being attacked by other diseases and/or insects. Ultimately, this disease can kill the tree. While there is no absolute treatment for this disease, you can reduce stress on the tree by mulching around the tree’s base and water during a drought.

Three Common Turf Diseases

If you’re not paying attention, your yard can succumb to disease. In order to treat the disease, you’ll need to be able to identify it. Read below to learn more.

1. Brown patch

A common lawn disease is brown patch. True to its name, it presents as light brown patches on your grass. Although it’s hard to eradicate the disease, you can manage the disease by not over-fertilizing, watering only in the morning, aerating, and planting a variety of grasses that are resistant to fungus, which will help control the spread of the disease.

2. Dollar Spot

Dollar spots are straw-colored spots around your lawn. It’s a disease that spreads when there’s a lot of moisture like when the days are warm, and the nights are cool. You can manage the disease by fertilizing, aerating, and watering. 

3. Snow Mold

Snow mold is caused by leaves getting buried under snow. That’s why it’s critical to rake your leaves in the fall so snow mold doesn’t occur. You’ll know if you have snow mold because you’ll see white or gray spots on your lawn that resembles a web.

Unlike other lawn diseases, the good news is this one usually goes away after the mold dries out. You can speed up the process by moving debris off of the lawn around the infected areas. 

Now that you know how some common tree and turf diseases present themselves, be on the lookout. Don’t forget the earlier you can treat the disease, the better! And if you need your lawn graded and sodded, contact us for a consultation.