By: Dave Scharfenberger, Board Certified Master Arborist WI-0131B
Nothing says “spring” like the beauty of flowering crabapples. This display makes them one of the most sought after trees for the landscape. Unfortunately, this beauty can have a beastly problem. Moist springs cause extremely high levels of apple scab disease. This yearly fungal disease causes leaf spotting and eventually early leaf drop. Often, many trees are 80-90% bare by July. By then you wonder why you even have one in your yard!
Aesthetics such as reduced flowering are not the only problem with scab. This early leaf drop removes food-producing leaves. Without proper food production, the trees become weak and susceptible to stem cankers and boring insects that can kill a tree.
Steps can be taken to protect your trees. You can plant a disease-resistant variety or treat your trees with a protective spray program. Two or three prescribed sprays, starting early in the season, will block the majority of the infection, giving you beautiful and healthy crabapples.
If you have experienced this problem in past years, give us a call. Your crabapples will thank you for their improved health. You will enjoy the improved appearance.
© Copyright 2005 – Wachtel Tree Science & Service, Inc.