The Avondale redbud, or Chinese redbud Avondale, is an evergreen perennial that is native to Japan and China. This low-growing, multi-trunked tree reaches mature heights up to 20 feet tall and is hardy in zones 6 through 10. This sun-loving tree adapts well to an array of soil types and is easily cultivated. It produces rich green, heart-shaped foliage and blooms showy and colorful spring blooms. The Avondale redbud is tolerant to many conditions but is susceptible to several diseases which can be detrimental to the tree, if left untreated.
Botryosphaeria canker, or redbud canker, is a fungal disease that infects stressed trees. It develops during the wet periods of spring. The fungal spores are transported by wind and rain onto and enter the tree through its weakened wood and wounds. The fungal spores then infect the woody tissues of the tree, which causes sunken areas of infection. Along with the presence of cankers, infected Avondale redbud trees will experience twig and branch dieback, growth stunt, foliage discoloration and early defoliation. Fungicidal treatments are ineffective in treating redbud canker. However, the disease can be controlled by pruning away the infected areas and maintaining a regular irrigation and fertilization schedule.
Verticillium wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease that targets the vascular system of the Avondale redbud. The disease enters the tree through its root system. It then infects the tissues of the vascular system and prevents the system from transporting water and nutrients throughout the tree. Infected Avondale redbuds experience dieback, growth stunt, wilt and take on a scorched appearance. The vascular system of the tree is also discolored by the disease. There is no cure or treatment for verticillium wilt infections. Severely infected redbuds will die from this fatal disease.
Anthracnose is a leaf spot disease that also results in the blight of the tree's twigs and shoots. This fungal disease develops in fallen debris that lies around the tree during the winter months. The cool, wet spring periods provides the ideal germination environment for this fungus. The fungal spores find their way onto the tree via wind and rain, infecting the foliage and twigs. Anthracnose infections cause symptoms such as dieback, growth stunt and early defoliation. Infected foliage will develop small, tar-like spots with deadened areas and may also become distorted and curled. Severely infected trees may also develop girdling cankers and experience heavy and premature defoliation. The potential for anthracnose infection is greatly reduced by keeping the tree's area free of debris and defoliation. Fungicidal spray treatments are also effective in preventing and treating this disease. Infected areas should be pruned from the tree with pruning shears that are sterilized between each cut.