Suspected Fungal Problem with Witchhazel

Asked May 11, 2020, 8:46 PM EDT

I care for a property in Chevy Chase and I would like to offer the client a more educated description of what is going on here. I suspect this to most likely be a fungal problem, but I do not know what specific problem or a means for properly treating. Thank you for helping me out!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Hi - Our plant pathologist reviewed your photos. This symptom appears to be indicative of witchhazel blight, which is caused by a fungus, Phyllosticta hamamelidis. Wet weather in the spring will favor development of this disease. It does not ttypically kill a plant, but the brown foliage of course will look unappealing. We recommend pruning out the symptomatic leaves and discarding them the trash to remove sources of the fungal inoculum. Good sanitation will help to reduce further development of the disease in future years. A fungicide application at this time, when leaves already show symptoms, will not cure the disease and therefore is not recommended. his may not be a major issue at all in years when the spring weather is drier/warmer.

Here is more information about Phyllosticta,
http://hyg.ipm.illinois.edu/article.php?id=85

Christa