The Q&A Archives: Dogwood Disease

Question: I was told by a landscaper that if I mulch my dogwood trees they will catch a dogwood disease and die. True or false?

Answer: Anthracnose is the most common disease of dogwoods, but you can prevent your tree from getting the disease. Anthracnose fungal blight thrives in moist, cool conditions and shady conditions. If you give your tree 30% direct sun, mulch with 2 to 3 inches of bark, don't wet the leaves when watering and have good air circulation, your tree is less likely to get the disease. Trees planted on South or West facing, sunny slopes are less likely to get the disease. If you plant the tree in full sun, it probably won't get the disease. Mulching won't cause your tree to contract Anthracnose.

To save an infected tree, prune out cankerous branches as soon as they are noticed. To protect new growth and reduce the amount of leaf spot infection spray a fungicide such as copper sulfate three times in spring while the new growth is still succulent and most likely to get infected. Spray once at bug break and then twice again, at 10 day intervals, preferably after a rain.

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