Powdery mildew on service berry

Asked July 21, 2015, 11:17 PM EDT

A contractor planted a balled and burlap service berry late last fall. About the time it bloomed this spring it developed mildew. And some branches died. He wants to wait til next season to see if it recovers. My question is do service berry recover mildew or will it return every year. It's a very sad looking scrub? How to treat? Is it ok to leave the burlap arround a shrub when planting? Thank you Jean Beach

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Hi Jean,
Transplantation is normally a very big shock to shrubs and trees so it's not unusual that this little plant would look pretty sad right now.

Powdery mildew is unsightly but usually does not harm the plant. That being said, a young, recently transplanted shrub needs to be able to photosynthesize all the sunlight it can get, and the mildew on the leaves is filtering out some of that light .

Burlap will decompose in the soil, so it should be no long-term problem, but the most important thing for this plant is that it receive adequate water - for the next few years. This will encourage that decomposition, and give the roots a chance to grow and develop. The top of the plant will not be able to resume growing until it has established a good root system.

Here are some links that will give you lots more information:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/powdery-mildew/

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/planting-and-transplanting-trees-and-sh...

I hope this is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.