PHC on the Lookout – Is There a Fungus Among Us?

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Cool, moist early spring weather is ideal for many types of fungi growth, which is exactly what the Chicago area experienced this year. Many commonly used shade trees in Illinois are affected by anthracnose diseases, when weather conditions are ripe for fungi development.  Maple, ash, oak, sycamore and walnut trees are especially impacted, but many […]

PHC on the Lookout – Maple Tar Spot

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Just as the name indicates, this plant fungus disease appears as black spots on the leaves. It’s as if someone flung paint or tar all over the tree leaves. Occasionally, the tree also develops lesions, or wounds on the leaves that appear more yellow or rust colored. Several varieties of Maple trees are affected, but […]

PHC on the Lookout – Black Knot

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Black Knot is a fungus that primarily affects plum and cherry plants, both ornamental and edible varieties. Some commonly used landscape plum and cherry varieties are affected. Brown, swollen growth on twigs and branches that grow larger over time are indicative of Black Knot. Most infections occur during wet conditions and cooler spring temperatures. Plants […]

PHC on the Lookout – Likin’ Lichens

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Although a bit intimidating to look at, lichens are a symbiotic combination of a fungus and algae that appears mainly on older trees, but also occasionally younger trees. Lichens are also found growing on rocks, houses and tree stumps. The appearance of lichens may actually be a good thing, as it indicates the air quality […]

PHC on the Lookout – Spring Cleaning for the Yard!

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Just as we air out the house and clean areas neglected during the winter, it’s also important to tidy the yard and get it ready for the upcoming growing season. Leaves and plant debris left over from the previous year can harbor diseases that will carry over to the following year. Keep in mind, there […]

PHC on the Lookout – Fall Leaves are Falling!

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The beautiful reds, yellows and oranges that brightened our trees are now littering our lawns. Leaf clean-up is not a fun chore, but it’s important for many reasons. Not only is leaf clean-up the neighborly thing to do, it may keep your landscape healthy the following year. Tree leaves are carriers for fungi and diseases […]

PHC on the Lookout – Horsechestnut Leaf Blotch

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Water-soaked areas on leaves, small reddish-brown leaf spots, shriveling leaflets and black fruiting bodies on leaf undersides are all symptoms of the fungus disease Guignardia leaf blotch. While it’s most commonly found on Horsechestnut trees, Buckeye trees are also affected. Severely infected trees will drop their leaves early in the season. Damage is mainly aesthetic, […]

Tip of the Week – Identifying Heartwood Decay

  Also known as “Heart Rot”, Heartwood Decay is caused by a fungus that deteriorates the inner wood of a tree. Decay is a naturally occurring tree process. Many times, a tree uses its’ own defense mechanisms to stop the fungus and decay from spreading throughout the tree. Also, just like people, healthy trees are […]

PHC on the Lookout – Maple Tar Spot

  Just as the name indicates, this plant fungus disease appears as black spots on the leaves. It’s as if someone flung paint or tar all over the tree leaves. Occasionally, the tree also develops lesions, or wounds on the leaves that appear more yellow or rust colored. Several varieties of Maple trees are affected, […]