Trees add a lot to your home. From color and curb appeal to shade and value, the benefits of planting trees around your home are easy to see. One of the easiest trees to plant and grow is the crepe myrtle. With elegant texture, floral blooms throughout the summer season, and heights up to 20 to 30 feet, the crepe myrtle is a great choice for your yard. Of course, proper maintenance is key to ensuring this tree thrives. With this guide, you will learn about two common diseases and how to restore your crepe myrtle back to health.
1. Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is one of the most common diseases your crepe myrtle may face. It is caused by a fungus, which spreads quickly, infecting the flowers, leaves, and wood of the tree. Like the name suggests, a powdery mildew is the main sign of this fungal infection. The residue may be white or grey in color and will be most prominent on the leaves, flowers, and new shoots growing from the tree.
You may also notice the flowers are not opening at all or may only be opening partially, decreasing the appeal of the crepe myrtle.
Prevention is your best treatment option, so avoid planting the tree in a shady or moist area. If the tree is already established, make sure to trim branches each year. Remove any branches in the middle of the tree that are connecting or intertwined. This improves air circulation through the tree, which prevents the fungal growth.
If the crepe myrtle is already infected, trim off diseased leaves, flowers, and branches. Make sure to dispose of this debris away from other plants and trees, since the fungal growth can spread to other plants. Also, apply a fungicide to the entire tree to prevent further spreading of the fungus. In severe cases where pruning and fungicide do not work, removing the entire tree may be necessary to kill the infection.
2. Leaf Spot
Another common disease that affects crepe myrtle trees is leaf spot. Fungi or bacteria may cause leaf spot. Again, the name of this disease describes the signs perfectly. If you notice white or grey spots on the lower portion of the leaves, it is most likely leaf spot disease.
Without efficient intervention, leaf spot will cause all of the tree's leaves to fall off. As soon as you notice the spots develop on the leaves, apply a chemical fungicide to the tree. This will stop the fungi or bacteria from spreading and defoliating your tree.
Powdery mildew and leaf spot are the most common problems your crepe myrtle may face. This guide will ensure you are prepared to diagnose and treat these diseases. For more information, check out a website like http://www.prtree.com.Share