Monday, July 13, 2009

Magnolia Leaf Blight

I planted a "Little Gem" Magnolia last year. Its about 7 feet tall. A gentlemen from TruGreen-Chemlawn did a tree and shrub inspection and told me my Little Gem had fire blight. He said that it is easy to spot since the symptoms are that the normal rust color velvet texture on the under sides of the leaves will be stripped off. I do see leaves that have this rust color velvet texture and ones that do not have it. The leaves that have the rust color/velvet texture seem to be sticking straight up in the air and the ones without it are drooping a bit. The green side of the leaves have no spots or any signs of disease. Can you help me?


Anne's Response:

I don't think Fireblight (erwinia amolyvara) affects magnolias but there is a leaf blight caused by Pellicularia koleroga. It is often called thread blight but does not produce the symptoms you describe. I suggest you contact someone in the Cooperative Extension Office in your area. The horticultural agent or Master Gardener may be able to provide more information.

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