Sick Rising Sun Redbud

(Question)

I’m hoping you can answer my question in regards to my Rising Sun Redbud. I did have leafhoppers on my tree, but sprayed it about 4 days ago and haven’t seen any since. I do have another problem with the leaves as you will see in the photos. I thought it may be blight, but there is no powdery substance on the leaves. Can this be Blight or possibly Verticillium Wilt? I’m at a loss, but would like to save this tree. Can this be cured? HELP!

 

(Answer)

Sadly, it appears that your tree may have Verticillium wilt.  This is a fungal disease without a cure.  Fungicides are ineffective against Verticillium wilt.  However, you can postpone the inevitable by a few years by pruning out diseased branches with disinfected tools, removing and/or burning all diseased material (do not compost), and keeping the plant otherwise healthy through good maintenance practices (watering regularly during dry periods, fertilizing if the soil needs it, etc.).  Verticillium wilt can remain in the soil for several years, so when the tree eventually dies, it is advisable to look for a replacement plant that is not susceptible to this disease.

More information on Verticillium wilt can be found on the Missouri Botanical Garden website via this link:

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/diseases/cankers/verticillium-wilt.aspx

Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.