Tree disease? Help!

Asked May 18, 2018, 11:08 PM EDT

Hello, last year we purchased a new house, three trees were on our front lot. They were fine last year. This year, they bloomed but now it appears that the leaves and blossoms are all dying. The bark of the tree has uniform circular white spots. I don't know if this is typical for this tree. Unfortunately, I can not determine the species/kind of trees these are. Please see the attached photos. I would like to save these trees if they are diseased. Can you help me? Thanks so much! Terrie

Clackamas County Oregon lichen photinia leaf spot

1 Response

Thank you for attaching the images to your inquiry. They clearly display photina which are afflicted by a very common leaf spot. As you see, the disease causes leaf drop which, in the case of these particular specimens, is nearly total leaf loss.

The white spots on the bark are harmless lichen, an indication of the excellent air quality in our region.

Photinia leaf spot benefits from our cool, moist climate, and is compounded by a shaded planting site and low air circulation. If a spray is applied, it must be in early spring as new shoots are developing. (Now that it’s May, it’s far too late.)

To be frank, there’s no reason to live with someone else’s mistakes.

Consider replacing these seriously stressed shrubs with something more suitable to the site. New homeowners are often encouraged to live at the new place for at least a year so that they can notice sun and shade patterns, also take time to decide what they might like to grow. A healthy hedge – or whatever you desire – is better than a chronically sick one.