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Past Articles Library | Plant Diseases & Control | Anthracnose



Anthracnose is a fungal disease; four species of fungi are responsible for most anthracnose diseases and not all species affect all tree species. Anthracnose does not seriously harm plants unless defoliation occurs repeatedly or branch dieback or cankering is extensive.



Anthracnose fungi overwinter primarily in lesions on infected twigs. Spores are produced in the spring and are spread by splashing rain and windborne rain to new growth. If it is moist during the new growth season, these spores germinate and infect new twigs and foliage. More spores are produced and are readily spread to nearby foliage by raindrops or overhead irrigation.



Many kinds of woody and herbaceous plants: vegetables, particularly bean, cucumber, pepper, squash, and tomato; susceptible trees include dogwood, elm, hawthorn, linden, maple, sycamore, and walnut.



Infection starts as small or large yellow, brown, or purplish spots, often with slightly raised margins, which darken as they age. Spots may eventually merge to cover the entire leaf, giving a scorched appearance; leaves may drop prematurely, and an entire tree can be defoliated. Tips of young tree twigs may be killed before the leaves begin to open; brown spots and patches may appear on young leaves. On fruit, small, sunken spots appear on the surface, and lead to rot.




1. Rake up and burn or destroy infected leaves; prune out dead wood and burn or destroy it.

2. 70% Neem Oil is an effective fungicide for the prevention and control of various fungal diseases including anthracnose. As a preventative, 70% Neem Oil should be applied on a 7 to 14 day schedule until the potential for disease development is no longer present.

3. Apply Soap-Shield Liquid Copper Fungicide.

Soap-Shield is an awesome new product that is easy to use and while other copper fungicides work only on wet leaf surfaces, Soap-Shield works on both wet or dry surfaces. It won't clog your sprayer, and is incredibly effective while using much lower concentrations of copper than other copper-based products. In areas of prolonged spring rains or fog, avoid planting highly susceptible species. In areas with summer heat or drought, provide deep irrigation about once a month if affected trees do not otherwise receive regular irrigation.

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Keep Some Birds Away

When you have worked very hard to grow your grapes, fruits and vegetables, it's hard to not be bothered when birds come in and take the best of everything!

A few tricks that work well are: netting over grapes, mylar strips tied to branches of your fruit trees, even blow up owls work.

If you use a blow up owl, or scarecrow, keep in mind to move them every few days so they appear to "move." Othewise the birds get wise fast and they are no good.

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