Blog Archives

Landscape Sanitation: Clean Up for Clean Plants

Autumn has arrived in Kentucky and, as leaves will soon begin to change color and fall from trees, it is time to focus on landscape sanitation. Good sanitation practices can help reduce disease-causing pathogens.  These organisms can survive for months

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs, Landscapes, Ornamentals

Bacterial Wetwood and Slime Flux

Bacterial wetwood and slime flux refer to bacterial “ooze” that runs down trunks of trees.  Oozing fluids are the result of a bacterial infection known as bacterial wetwood (Figure 1). Advanced development is called slime flux, in which a foul-smelling,

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Tree Wounds – Invitations to Wood Decay Fungi

Wood decay leads to loss of tree vigor and vitality, resulting in decline, dieback, and structural failure. Wounds play an important part in this process since they are the primary point of entry for wood decay pathogens. While other factors

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Transplant Shock: Disease or Cultural Problem?

Autumn has arrived in Kentucky, and now is one of the best times to plant new trees. Cool-season planting allows trees to “focus” on root system development. Woody plants may take as long as 3 to 5 years to establish

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Armillaria Root Rot – A Threat to Stressed Landscape Trees

Tree stress can come from numerous factors, including weather, mechanical damage, insects, or poor growing conditions. These stresses make plants more susceptible to the plant disease Armillaria root rot. This fungal disease is also known as shoestring root rot, mushroom

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Rose Rosette Disease: A Threat to Kentucky Roses

Rose rosette is a devastating viral disease that is a threat to roses, including rose cultivars known for their exceptional disease resistance and cold hardiness. Symptoms can vary greatly, depending upon cultivar, plant age, and growing conditions.  Symptoms are often

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Bacterial Leaf Scorch Can Torch Landscape Trees

Kentucky’s landscapes are populated by many trees that are susceptible to bacterial leaf scorch. This disease may not kill trees instantly, but over time, it can have devastating effects. Pruning and reducing stress can prolong the life of infected trees;

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

How Dry Seasons Affect Woody Plants

Water is an essential component to plant mass and is vital to growth, carbohydrate production, and nutrient transport. During periods of below-average rainfall or when rain distribution is uneven, plant health may decline (Figure 1). Drought conditions or inadequate water

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Stress and Decline in Woody Plants

Woody trees and shrubs may exhibit decline resulting from the stresses that can occur during their lives. Stress may be the result of improper plant or site selection, incorrect planting or maintenance practices, or poor soil conditions. Injury from equipment,

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight can be devastating to American boxwood cultivars, which are common in the Kentucky landscape. Complete defoliation can occur within a week and plants can die within a single growing season. Use of tolerant cultivars, cultural practices, and fungicides

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Dogwood Powdery Mildew

Dogwood is a popular landscape tree throughout Kentucky. However, once infected with powdery mildew, trees can develop an unattractive appearance. The disease is most prevalent during periods of high humidity and in landscapes with reduced air circulation. Some cultivars are

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Laurel Wilt Disease: A Threat to Kentucky Sassafras Trees

Laurel wilt is a new disease that was recently detected in southwestern Kentucky. This disease, which is transmitted by the redbay ambrosia beetle, has the potential to rapidly kill sassafras trees. Currently no management options are available for this disease.

Posted in Forest Trees, Landscape Trees & Shrubs

My Trees Have Lice!

Barklice that is. While that sounds alarming, and brings to mind blood-sucking lice, barklice are not lice and are very different from the parasitic lice that can infest people and livestock. Barklice cause concern when they are seen in large

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Hanging by a Thread

Dead, curled leaves dangling by fungal “threads” are typical of a disease called thread blight.  This disease is more common in eastern Kentucky, where it has been observed on apple, cherry, and viburnum.  Other potential hosts include cotoneaster, dogwood, gooseberry,

Posted in Fruit, Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Cherry Leaf Spot

Cherry leaf spot is a fungal disease of sweet, sour, and ornamental cherries. While this leaf disease is rarely a death sentence for trees, it can result in reduced blossoms, weakened trees, and increased risk for winter injury. Cherry Leaf

Posted in Fruit, Landscape Trees & Shrubs