Tree & Shrub Leaf Spots: What Could Be Causing Them & What To Do

Your trees and shrubs are valuable assets on your Memphis, TN property. That’s why it can be incredibly alarming to suddenly start noticing spots on their leaves. The last thing that you want to worry about is losing a plant and having a hole in your landscape.

While there are a lot of potential issues that could cause problems with your trees and shrubs, leaf spot fungus is a big one. In this article, we’ll talk about what it entails, how to treat it, and what other problems you could be facing.

What is Leaf Spot Disease on Trees and Shrubs?

Leaf spot is actually a common descriptive term that is applied to a number of diseases that affect the foliage of ornamental plants and trees. Leaf spots diseases weaken the plant by interrupting the photosynthesis process, which will eventually lead to leaf loss.

Leaf spot disease

Some diseases are more serious than others. While some can be purely cosmetic in nature, other diseases could lead to more serious health problems.

If you’ve noticed spots on leaves, you’ll want to talk to a plant health care professional about exactly what you’re dealing with so that you can get the correct solution underway.

How to Treat Leaf Spot Disease

There are some cultural practices that can be implemented if you have leaf spot disease on trees and shrubs.

  • For one, it is a best practice to rake up and destroy any of the fallen leaves that were affected by leaf spot fungus. This will prevent the disease from continuing to survive and ultimately reinfect the plant.
  • You should also keep in mind that overly wet conditions can promote fungal growth. Properly watering trees at their base (and avoiding water splashing on the leaves) is really important. It’s the plant’s roots that need the water and a drip soaker hose works well for this.
  • You should also avoid using fertilizer on a tree or shrub with leaf spot fungus unless it is indicated by a soil test to specifically address a nutrient deficiency. This is really best performed by a professional who will know how much to apply (or whether it’s indicated) without causing further trouble.

Plant Health Care: The Solution to Many Tree and Shrub Problems

In addition to implementing the best cultural practices, a Plant Health Care program can also reduce the risk of trees and shrubs becoming sick or dying. After all, leaf spot disease is only one of many problems that a tree or shrub could be dealing with.

tree and shrub treatment application

Here are some other common tree and shrub problems in the Memphis area, just to name some.

  • Lace Bugs
  • Leaf Miners
  • Aphids
  • Bagworms
  • Spider Mites
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Nutrient Deficiencies (due to poor soil health)
  • Blight
  • Scale

And the list goes on.

But a possible solution to these problems and more is a Plant Health Care program that provides plants with vital nutrients to thrive while also protecting them against insects and disease (like leaf spot fungus).

These treatments combine fertilization, pest control, and disease control to give your trees and shrubs the best possible chance against many of the possible problems they could face.

Of course, it’s not a “magic bullet” or a “fix-all” solution. If your tree or shrub is already in really bad shape, sometimes there’s no bringing it back. And unfortunately, there are some diseases that are incurable and can’t be fixed.

But in many cases, Plant Health Care can play a very valuable role in protecting your investment in your landscape.

At the end of the day, you know that when plants succumb to problems like pests, disease, or environmental stressors, it can quickly become burdensome—and expensive. This is why so many of Master Lawn’s clients see Plant Health Care as a valuable investment.

It can allow you to let go of some of your worries and get back to enjoying your landscape to the fullest.

Want to invest in protecting your landscape near Memphis, TN? Request a quote, get your customized plan, and become the master of your landscape.

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Image sources: leaf spot 1, leaf spot 2 

Joey Steele, Lawn & Plant Health Care Manager

Since 2004, Joey has been using his B.S. in Landscape Construction and his turf and ornamental certifications to transform properties in our area. He loves seeing the fruit of his team's hard work and enjoys the many relationships he's formed since joining our team in 2008. He's an Olive Branch, MS native and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young boys, fishing and going to football games.

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