A variety of fungus problems pose a significant threat to trees in Louisiana. From cosmetic damage to severe infection, fungi wreak havoc on a wide array of regional tree species. Familiarize yourself with what to look for and how to manage different types of fungus problems that may arise for the continuation of a vigorous home landscape.
One type of fungus of Louisiana trees, also present in other states, is laurel wilt fungus (Raffaelea larelensis). Beetles transport this fungus in an internal pouch located in their mouths until they reach the host tree.
Cerotelium fici is the fungal pathogen that causes rust on fig trees in Louisiana, according to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
Fusarium wilt is a fungal infection of mimosa trees in Louisiana, caused by the soil-borne fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. perniciosum, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
For laurel wilt fungus, while beetles carve their way into the wood of trees, the fungus germinates and forms colonies, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. As infestation and infection occurs, fungus causes the wilt of leaves and newer stem growth.
Rust on fig trees affects leaves, first apparent through the display of spots on foliage that grow and increase in number.
Fusarium wilt fungus disease on trees begins with a display of yellowed, wilted leaves.
Laurel wilt on Louisiana trees often results in complete early defoliation, dieback and plant death, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. When the fungus spreads, water and nutrients are no longer able to move throughout the tree.
Less severe damage occurs with fig rust as trees are susceptible to defoliation, but fruit is generally unaffected.
Similarly, fusarium wilt causes early defoliation but may also result in rapid death, particularly when left untreated, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Planting resistant trees and avoiding susceptible species increases the likelihood that you will avoid tree fungus in your Louisiana home garden. Avoid planting other known host trees for laurel wilt including avocado trees (P. Americana), camphor trees (Cinnamomum camphora), redbay (P. borbonia) and sassafras (Sassafras albidum), according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.
When choosing fig trees in Louisiana, consider planting Celeste, a fig tree with good resistance to leaf diseases as well as cold injury, which can damage a tree, leaving it vulnerable to fungal problems.
Fight fusarium wilt fungus, as well, by planting mimosa cultivars Charlotte or Union.
As of 2010, there are no effective chemical control methods for these fungus problems. For laurel wilt fungus of Louisiana trees, do not transport or sell any part of an infected tree as the disease is still under study.
For fig fungus problems, provide ideal cultural requirements as well as optimal air circulation to prevent fungal germination.
Fusarium wilt is a fatal problem for mimosas; since the pathogen is soil-borne, plant a resistant tree from another species after removing the mimosa. Most species are immune to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. perniciosum, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
For all Louisiana tree fungus problems, sanitize tools that come into contact with trees. Collect and destroy affected plant parts to eliminate the chance of disease spread. Additionally, keep your trees vigorous through proper care for a higher chance of retaliation or resistance.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: HS1136 Redbay Ambrosia Beetle-Laurel Wilt Fungus: A Potential Major Problem for Florida Avocados
- State of South Carolina: New Disease Epidemic Threatens Redbay and Other Related Species
- LSU AgCenter Research and Extension: Figs
- Virginia Cooperative Extension: Fusarium Wilt of Mimosa
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