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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Privet Tree Leaves Black Spots are Disease? No.

Q. I'm sending you a photo of a leaf from my privet tree that has some kind of fungus. Can you suggest some fungicide for me to use?

Spotting on privet leaves. It could be a disease problem but it would most likely not be
there if the tree was getting proper care.
A. I think it is just a lack of good nutrition and perhaps a lack of adequate watering rather than a disease caused by a pathogen like a fungus. Even if it were a fungus disease, it is more susceptible to disease if it is in poor health. However, too much irrigation water applied too often can look similar to this.

            Not enough water usually results in leaf drop in the early stages of stress with this tree. I will post your picture on my blog for readers to see your particular problem.

            Japanese privet does much better in mixed landscapes rather than alone in rock mulch, if you have it in rock mulch. They do not like soils that develop in a rock environment and have trouble picking up the right nutrients from these types of soils to stay healthy. Please be aware that this tree is not a desert plant so it will require more care to keep it looking good.

EDDHA found in the ingredients of an iron chelate fertilizer
            Without soil improvement you might try giving it a better fertilizer product. Fertilizers for trees and shrubs from manufacturers such as Miracle Gro, Peters, Jobe’s fertilizer spikes and others will provide better nutrition for the plant than using an inexpensive agricultural fertilizer. Add to this an iron product that contains the EDDHA chelate (look at the ingredients).

            Specialty fertilizers like these are not inexpensive. However you can save some money by not using it each time you fertilize. You can make an application and then boost plant performance by using just a little bit of nitrogen fertilizer when the plant needs it.

            But if the plant is in rock landscape you will need at least one expensive fertilizer treatment annually to improve your plant performance under the poor soil conditions of rock mulch landscapes.

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