Pink Dogwood Fungus

Asked May 29, 2020, 4:13 PM EDT

My 2 year old Dogwood tree from Valley View Farms, began to show spots on the leaves at the end of last summer. It did not bloom at all this Spring. I’m enclosing pictures for you to see. Is this condition treatable or is it fatal for the tree?

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

Dogwood trees can be susceptible to several fungal diseases such as spot anthracnose (brown spots on foliage) and powdery mildew (white spots on foliage and curling). We have been receiving many questions on dogwood and these diseases.
Look at the symptoms and possible causes on the attached web page https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/flowering-dogwood-trees-selection-care-and-management-disease-problems

In general, spot anthracnose is not a damaging disease. You do not have to spray. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/spot-anthracnose-dogwood-or-elsino%C3%AB-leaf-spot

There is a range of susceptibility among dogwood to powdery mildew. Pruning for air circulation may help. You will have to monitor the plant in the future and decide if you want to spray fungicides or horticultural oil products listed for powdery mildew. This disease does not kill the plant but can weaken it.
The best recommendation is to plant resistant varieties in the future to spot anthracnose and powdery mildew.

Dogwoods are understory trees and grow best in morning sun and afternoon shade. They will grow in full sun but may require more moisture during dry periods. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and away from the base of the trunk.

Marian

My dogwood never bloomed this Spring. Was it because of the Anthracnose? It was 3 years old this Spring and did bloom the 2nd year I had it.

There may be no bloom for several reasons. In general dogwoods do not produce the same amount of beautiful blooms each season. Definitely some years they bloom better than others. If they have received too much nitrogen fertilizer, this can produce a lot of foliage at the expense of flowering.
Even though your tree flowered last year, young trees spend a few years establishing their root system before devoting energy to flowering.
Remember the buds for flowering are set in the previous growing season. So, if we have a very hot, dry summer like last year this can affect flower buds. You should give them supplemental water even into the fall during dry periods.
It is also possible the above diseases affected flowering.
Hopefully, you will have better bloom next season.

Marian