Will a bleach solution help to control black rot on tree branch ends in...

Asked January 2, 2015, 8:54 AM EST

Will a bleach solution help to control black rot on tree branch ends in spring after winter pruning and disposal of most of infected areas.

Jackson County Kansas plant disease plant pathology horticulture

1 Response

Bleach is commonly used as a surface disinfectant for killing bacteria and fungal spores on pruning tools. Bleach is not a useful to control disease problems when used directly on plants-it is phytotoxic (can cause plant damage) and has no effect on reducing existing disease problems. A better choice for disinfecting pruning tools would be using lysol spray-it is as effective and much less corrosive on your tools.

I'm a little confused on what problem you're trying to control. What type of tree is it? Is the disease black knot with the hard black swellings on the branch ends? If so, your local Extension office will be able to recommend specific management options.

Thanks for using Ask An Expert!