Tree Fungus in Connecticut: How To Protect Your Trees

Tree Fungus in ConnecticutGorgeous, beautiful trees create shade in your yard and add curb appeal to your home. Unfortunately, tree fungus can damage the look and health of your trees.  At best, your trees don’t grow well and look blighted  At worst, tree fungus can kill them. Concerned? Here are some things you can do to protect your trees:

Fertilize Appropriately

One of the most important things you can do to prevent tree fungus is to make sure your trees have all of the nutrients they need.  Different tree species require different types of fertilizers, mycorrhizae and biostimulants.  Moreover, the timing of the treatment is important to make sure that root growth is maximized before winter.

Water Correctly

Getting too much or too little watering can stress trees. The amount of water each tree needs varies and depends in part on the location of the tree and species. However, in general, most trees need one inch of deep watering a week if there is not rain. Avoid overhead watering which can make foliage wet and prone to fungus.

Protect in Winter

Depending on the species, some trees need protection in the winter. Some trees require winter mulching, physical barriers, or applying antitranspirant or anti-desiccant.

Pruning Appropriately

Be careful when pruning trees, especially fruit trees.  Special timing and procedures for pruning fruit trees can help avoid infection by the fungus. Moreover, if you need to prune diseased limbs, do so carefully to prevent infection spread.

Employ Sanitary Landscaping Procedures

One key factor in whether your trees get fungal infections is whether a fungus is introduced into your yard environment. Be careful about what lawn and landscaping businesses work on your property.  You want a business which carefully cleans equipment used to prune and remove debris so that pathogens from another tree don’t end up in your yard. If you do any work yourself, you need to make sure that you clean your equipment with a 10% bleach solution or, because bleach can be corrosive to equipment, a commercial cleaner like Greenshield.

Monitor Your Trees

Regularly check your trees for any changes or abnormalities. Be sure that you can recognize fungus problems. Get to know the different symptoms and keep records, outlining the conditions of your trees as well as making a plan for yearly tree management.

Use Biological Control

A new method for preventing fungal infections is biological management using living fungi that either competes against disease organisms, stimulates the natural plant defenses, or actually kills the plant disease. One example is the hypovirulent (less virulent) chestnut blight fungus which competes against regular chestnut blight and keeps it in check.

Chemical Control

Sometimes, the only way to handle a fungal tree infection is to use chemicals.  Selecting the appropriate fungicide is important and dependent on accurate diagnosis of the tree infection; therefore, you should be sure to consult an expert.

Plant Native Trees

One way to protect your investment in trees is to add replacement trees that are native species either in addition to your current trees or nearby any trees you are concerned you will lose. By their very nature, native trees are adapted to the climate of Connecticut, making them naturally hardier than non-natives, as well as more resistant to fungus and other diseases.  Moreover, native species create a better habitat for wildlife which can also help to keep your trees healthy.

Consult Professional Landscaper

Since large trees improve your property values and are really irreplaceable, it pays to protect them. You will want to consult the Connecticut Extension Tree Disease Management Guide, or consult a professional landscaper for expert advice.

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