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COMMON PLANT DISEASES

Disease fungi take their energy from the plants on which they live. They are responsible for a great deal of damage and are characterized by wilting, scabs, moldy coatings, rusts, and blotches and rotted tissue. This page is designed to help identify some of the more common plant diseases and provides earthfriendly solutions for combating them. Click on the links or pictures below to learn more. Anthracnose Description: Generally found in the eastern part of the U.S., anthracnose infected plants develop dark lesions on stems, leaves or fruit. These lesions often become covered with pink spore masses. Dieback often occurs. Apple Scab Description: One of the most serious diseases of apple and ornamental crab apple. Disease development is favoured by wet, cool weather that generally occurs in spring and early summer. Both leaves and fruit can be affected.

Bacterial Canker Description: Infection causes sunken, oozing cankers to form on trunks or limbs. May cause wilting or death of branches or trees. Cherries are very susceptible, as well as other stone fruit, pears, apples and ornamentals. Bacterial Leaf Spot Description: Infected plants have water soaked spots, sometimes with a yellow halo, usually uniform in size. The spots enlarge and will run together under wet conditions. Under dry conditions appearance. Blossom End Rot Description: A serious disorder of tomato, pepper, and eggplant. Growers often are distressed to notice that a dry sunken decay has developed on the blossom end (opposite the stem) of many fruit, especially the first fruit of the season. the spots have a speckled

Brown Rot Description: Brown rot is a major disease of all stone fruit and can cause major crop losses in peaches, cherries, plums, prunes, nectarines, and apricots. The fungus may attack blossoms, fruit, spurs or twigs and small branches. Cedar Apple Rust Description: A fungal disease found on the leaves of apple and crab apple. Symptoms initially appear as small yellow spots, which later enlarge and turn orange. Cedar apple rust will also attack various juniper species (red cedar).

Corn Smut Description: Corn smut is easily recognized by the galls that form on any above ground plant part. As the galls mature, the interior darkens and turns into masses of powdery, dark olivebrown to black spores.

Crown Gall Description: Crown Gall is a common disease of many woody shrubs and some herbaceous plants, including grapes, stone fruits and roses. Galls typically occur at the crown of the plant, just above soil level. Damping Off Description: A result of soil borne fungi, damping-off usually refers to the disintegration of stem and root tissues at and below the soil line. Seedlings become water-soaked and mushy, and simply topple over. Dollar Spot Description: Dollar spot, a disease of closely mowed turf grasses appears as round, brown to straw-colored and somewhat sunken spots approximately the size of a silver dollar; thus, the common name "dollar spot".

Downy Mildew Description: Downy mildew appears on the upper leaf surface as pale green or yellow spots. The spots look slightly gray and fuzzy when viewed from below, especially during periods of high relative humidity. Early Blight Description: Common in potato and tomato, early blight first appears on lower leaves as small brown spots with concentric rings that form a "bull's eye" pattern. Infected leaves turn yellow and die. Fairy Rings Description: Fairy rings appear in any lawn, golf course or other turf areas during spring and summer months. The rings appear as either dark green or brown bands ranging in size from a few inches to 50 feet in diameter.

Fire Blight Description: Fire blight is a destructive

bacterial disease of apples, pears and other plants that kills blossoms, shoots, limbs, and sometimes, entire trees. Fire blight is named for the scorched appearance of diseased leaves. Fusarium Wilt Description: Fusarium wilt initially causes a yellowing and wilting of and lower leaves,

especially in tomato

potato plants.

Sometimes only one branch or one side of the plant is affected. Infected plants usually die. Gray Mold Description: Gray mold first appears as a white growth on the plant but very soon darkens to a gray color. Smoky-gray "dusty" spores form and are spread by the wind or in water. It is found everywhere plants are grown.

Late Blight Description: Late blight appears on potato or tomato leaves as pale green to gray spots, often beginning at leaf tips or edges. White mould grows on the undersides of these spots. Infected leaves turn brown and dry up. Leaf Curl Description: Leaf curl, also frequently referred to as peach leaf curl, appears in spring as reddish areas on developing leaves. These areas become thickened and puckered, causing leaves to curl and severely distort. Mosaic Virus Description: Mosaic is a viral disease found throughout the U.S. Leaves of infected plants are characterized by intermingled patches of normal and light green or yellowish colors. Plant growth is stunted.

Potato Scab Description: Potato scab is a common tuber disease that occurs wherever potatoes are grown. Scab spots are circular brown,

roughened areas, with irregular margins. Sometimes the ridged portions are in broken concentric rings. Powdery Mildew Description: Powdery mildew appears as a dusty white to gray coating over leaf surfaces or other plant parts. Severe infection will result in yellowed leaves, dried and brown leaves, and disfigured shoots and flowers. Rust Description: Common rust first appears as yellow spots on the leaves. The spots develop into oval reddish-brown and elevated lesions that contain a powdery mass of orange-red spores. Damage is most abundant on the leaves.