This spring was one of the wettest and coolest springs we can remember. Many of you have noticed that the foliage of many plants developed more spotting and discoloration than usual. Also, there are trees that started to drop leaves earlier than expected. This was primarily due to the outbreak of fungi this year. The cool damp weather this spring and early summer were perfect growing conditions for fungi. However, there is usually no need to worry about the health of your plants, this is usually not a fatal problem.
Next year your trees, shrubs and perennials will leaf out and perform as usual. People often ask us what can be done about this problem? This is a tough answer. Once a fungus has been noticed it is generally too late to treat. Fungi need to be preventatively treated. Since a fungus is not usually fatal we do not treat it. Preventative treatments can be expensive. The only time we recommend treatment is when older crabapple varieties are involved. Older crabs, not resistant to fungi, can lose a lot of leaves – even during a normal year. This year some of the older crabs have completely defoliated (this can also occur to a great extent during a normal year). These large crabs, if treated, can remain a beautiful addition to your landscape.