Dear Sir/Madam Please review pictures of the two species, one looks to be a...

Asked July 7, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

Dear Sir/Madam Please review pictures of the two species, one looks to be a birch. The unidentified species is almost barren. The birch is loosing leaves from the top half of the tree. Your help in identifying the problem and its remedy will be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Jesse Thurlow

Baltimore County Maryland shrubs photinia

1 Response

Only one of your photos transmitted--the unknown shrub. This is a red-tipped photinia, a shrub which often gets a fungal disease known as leaf spot. It is too late to do anything about this disease this year except keep the plant watered during dry spells and rake up the infected leaves and dispose of them.

Next year, the plant will be reinfected from spores in dead infected leaves on the ground. The spores splash up from the ground. One way to handle the disease is to prune off all the lower branches to about 2 feet up so that the disease cannot get established on lower leaves. You can also spray with a fungicide containing copper or Daconil early in the growing season on new leaves before the infection gets started. Fungicides cannot cure, only prevent, disease. They also are toxic to honeybees and other pollinators, so never spray fungicides on plants when they are flowering.

Avoid wetting the leaves of this shrub by watering with a sprinkler. Water at the base.

ECN