Common Spring Diseases Affecting Trees in Northeast Ohio

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It’s time to schedule your spring fungicide applications!

From late April to early May, your trees should be sprayed or injected in order to control and prevent damage from the following common diseases, among others:

Apple Scab

Apple scab is a common disease that often infects ornamental trees and shrubs; most commonly affected are apple and crabapple trees, mountain ash trees, and pear trees.

This fungus lies dormant on leaves that have become diseased. This time of year, the fungus ejects spores from the fallen leaves into the air. These spores are then carried by the wind to developing leaves or twigs, flowers, and fruit. The cycle of this infection process can happen again and again during a single growing season and is particularly exacerbated by humid and rainy weather.

The early signs of apple scab are leaves that have been puckered or curled. Eventually, small olive green spots will appear. Fruit that is infected may become cracked or deformed. Infected leaves turn yellow and fall to the ground during the middle of the summer.


Anthracnose, also referred to as Colletotrichum leaf spot, refers generally to diseases caused by a variety of fungi that result in visible damage to many ornamental trees and shrubs. Like apple scab, this fungus hibernates during the winter on fallen leaves or twigs. In the spring, the spores of the fungi travel by water or air to newly forming leaves. Infections will result within days or weeks.

The most common sign of anthracnose is irregularly shaped brown or tan spots on leaves. Sometimes leaves can become curled or cupped. This disease is usually most prevalent in the lower branches of a tree, but can sometimes travel up a tree’s canopy.

Cedar-Hawthorn Rust

Cedar-hawthorn rust is a rust-related disease that affects a variety of trees including junipers, but is more problematic in hawthorns.

Evidence of cedar-hawthorn rust is discoloration and dark spots on leaves, fruit or new twigs. If you look closely at the spots, you will see tiny black fruiting bodies that release spores.


The good news is that all of the above diseases can be prevented with an early spring fungicide treatment. It is important to take action now before the first signs of these diseases appear on your trees.

Call Independent Tree today to schedule an application!

Prevent Tree Diseases On Your Property

Independent Tree's plant health care specialists are familiar with the tree diseases that impact Ohio trees. Contact us today to schedule a tree assessment or a fungicide treatment.

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About The Author

Alan Kraus owner of Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Alan Kraus

Alan Kraus is the founder and owner of Independent Tree, a full-service tree care company in Northeastern Ohio serving Eastern Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage & Lake Counties. Alan is a certified arborist with a lifelong love of trees and with roots in the community he serves.  More About Alan >


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