Magnolia trees are infamous for their large and stunning blooms that have such a pleasant fragrance. You can find them grown throughout the southern United States, prized for their beautiful leaves and blossoms.
Unfortunately, caring for them isn’t as simple as you’d want it to be. Magnolia trees are quite susceptible to different diseases and problems, including fungal attacks. Some of these issues can be minor or can worsen until it becomes life-threatening conditions.
That’s why it’s crucial to identify the problem and know what action to take immediately. But how do you treat fungus on a Magnolia tree? Read on to find out!
How Do You Treat Fungus on a Magnolia Tree?
Just like many other plants and trees, Magnolia trees are usually attacked by various diseases and pest infections. It may also fall victim to fungal issues. The treatment done for fungus depends on the condition it suffers from.
Here are the different fungal problems to learn about and how you can treat it:
1. Leaf Spot Diseases
Lead spot diseases are caused by various fungi and bacteria called the Pseudomonas. These like wet conditions and you will know if your tree has it if its leaves have tiny purplish or black spots with a white center and purple edges as it matures. They may also cause brown or yellow irregular discolorations on the leaves, with some of the leaves falling from their branches prematurely.
Usually, your tree can tolerate the disease as long as it’s healthy. You can treat it by providing better ventilation to the tree, pruning it regularly, as well as spraying the tree using multidimensional fungicides. Furthermore, keep the ground around and under the Magnolia tree free from any fallen plant matter to prevent infestations and problems like these.
2. Verticillium Wilt
This is a fungal disease that would begin at the tops of the leaves, working its way towards tree branches. It would show if you see any yellowing on the tree’s leaf margins and between the veins. The infected leaves will then wilt, die, and fall from the tree prematurely.
Verticillium wilt isn’t present in cooler temperatures, with the first signs of this disease unnoticeable until the weather begins to warm.
Unfortunately, there isn’t accepted fungicide control that can treat verticillium wilt, though you can try cultural control to prevent the damaging fungal disease from further attacking the tree.
You should plant Magnolia trees in disease-free soil to prevent the chance of this fungal disease and sterilize the soil before planting using solarization to kill any pathogens that live on top of the soil.
3. Powdery Mildew
This is a contagious fungal disease that would infect a lot of plants like the Magnolia trees. It would appear as a fuzzy or powdery white growth on branches and leaves, causing the foliage to discolor, eventually wilting and falling off branches.
Too much shade and mild temperatures of 60-80 degrees would promote the growth of powdery mildew. Unlike other fungal diseases, moisture isn’t required for the fungus to grow.
What you can do to treat powdery mildew is by applying fungicide like horticultural oil, neem oil, or potassium bicarbonate. Make sure that you separate all the affected leaves from the affected tree, as well as other plants and trees around it.
Also, you should take preventative measures such as ensuring your plants have proper space between one another for better air circulation and to avoid excessive watering to keep away any fungus from attacking your Magnolia tree.
4. Sooty Mold
When the Magnolia tree is infested with pests like aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites, it would secrete honeydew over the leaves and tree stems. This is a sticky substance, causing a black and velvet-lick fungus to grow, which is known as sooty mold.
The sooty mold would rarely threaten the life of Magnolia trees, only if the growth has covered the entire leaves, blocking the sunlight required for photosynthesis.
Before you can get rid of sooty mold, you’ll need to deal with the pests that secrete honeydew. You can have predatory insects around to feed on the pests naturally, and also apply neem oil thoroughly on the Magnolia tree to chemically control the pests.
After the pests are gone, the sooty mold goes away. You can also hose down the tree to wash the fungus away.
5. Leaf Blight
Leaf blight is probably one of the most common diseases of Magnolia trees, a fungus disease that usually attacks them when they are young. You will know if it’s leaf blight when there is a thread-like appearance under the leaves, and affected leaves look matted, sticking together.
You can prevent this disease from spreading with proper pruning tools and pruning your tree during the dry seasons for better airflow between its branches. Make sure that the pruning tools used are disinfected with fungicides to make sure there aren’t any infectious diseases spread in the equipment. Isolate all affected leaves and burn them to avoid them from spreading anywhere else in the garden.
I do not recommend using chemical control, as this isn’t a reliable method in controlling bacterial blight, nor will the chemicals be healthy for the tree in the long run.
Do you want to learn more about how to care for your Magnolia tree better? Check out this informative video:
Wrapping It Up
We all know how irritating and scary it can be when your precious Magnolia tree falls victim to fungal attacks. But not to worry, as you can treat it right away with the correct products, and you can also prevent it from happening again. All it takes is careful monitoring and proper care for the long run.
I hope that this article answered your question, “how do you treat fungus on a Magnolia tree?” Now that you know the answer, do make sure that you monitor your Magnolia tree and continue caring for it to prevent any fungal attacks and diseases.