This past Spring was exceptionally wet, and we're still seeing the effects this Summer. Excessive moisture has become the norm the last few years; this coupled with unseasonably warm winter temperatures and soaring summer heat has created an incredibly stressful environment for trees. We're seeing this manifest in fungal issues across a broad range of species, many of which are not typically prone to such problems. While we can expect to see things like anthracnose and leaf spot on fruit trees and dogwoods, we're seeing it on maples and cherries as well. We've also seen instances of needle canker in conifers, many of which are often difficult to treat.
However, there are things that you can do every day to help your trees deal with the stressful conditions they are facing.
1. WATER YOUR TREES! I know, I know. Excessive moisture is the problem and you recommend watering?! While on the surface counter-intuitive, this is exactly what you want to do. Moisture becomes a problem when it persists on the leaves; this is harmful, not replenishing! You want to water the soil around the tree, from which it pulls its' nutrients. The trees need a drink, not a shower. We recommend loosely wrapping a soaker house around the base of the tree. Do not water the tree itself. Do this 2 - 3 times weekly, using your best judgement as to amount. Watering is not an exact science.
2. RAKE! Early leaf drop is often the result of fungal issues. Be sure to rake up and dispose of any of these leaves that have fallen as soon as possible (do not put them in your compost!). You don't want the afflicted leaves decomposing and reinfecting your trees next year. A small electric blower can help clean out difficult landscapes.
3. MONITOR! Feel free to send in pictures if you have any concerns, or if conditions worsen. For many trees, treatment with organic copper fungicide or plant growth regulator can be of great benefit to help curb these symptoms. For fungicide treatments, we would most likely treat this coming Fall, and again in the Springtime - proceeding on an annual Spring schedule thereafter to maintain health.
As always, if you have any concerns - let us know! Feel free to send me an email to email@example.com.