What Is Bacterial Leaf Scorch Disease?
Landscape trees of various types, but especially shade trees
and frequently pin oaks, get bacterial leaf scorch disease a lot. Xylella
fastidiosa causes bacterial leaf scorch, and it is spreading across
the eastern and southern United States. The first signs are necrotic leaves
with browning and finally leaf drop.
It was during the 1980s that it was first noticed and has and
in the last few decades it has become rampant and a serious enemy to deciduous
trees. What exactly is bacterial leaf scorch? This disease is caused by a
bacteria that disrupts the flow of water in the tree’s vascular system often
having serious consequences.
Bacterial leaf scorch disease threatens both the health and
beauty of these beautiful trees. However, symptoms can go unnoticed at first, and
by the time it is noticable the tree is often near death. Unfortunately there is
no treatment or control for bacterial leaf scorch, but there are some steps
that can help ensure your beautiful tree look beautiful for the tree’s
Leaf scorch begins at the leaf’s edge producing browned
edges while the center of the leaf stays green. Often there is a yellow band of
tissue between the brown edge and the green center. Visual symptoms are
different from one species to another. The only real test is a lab test to rule
out any other diseases.
How to Treat Bacterial Leaf Scorch
If you wish to try to keep the tree alive longer or if removal
is not an option, you can use good cultural methods to improve the health of
your true. You can prune off dead branches and twigs.
You might want to get the help of an arborist. Tree care
professionals can inject oxytetracyclen, which is an antibiotic used to treat
leaf scorch. The arborist will inject the antibiotic into the root flare at the
base of your tree and it needs to be done annually. It will add a couple extra
years life to your tree. The injection is not a cure but it treats the bacterial
leaf scorch and enhances the tree’s health extending its life.