Sooty Mold in Southeast New York, Causes, Prevention, And Treatment

Out of all the fungal diseases that your Southeast New York trees and shrubs could contract, sooty mold might be one of the worst-looking of them all. Although sooty mold usually can’t seriously harm the health of your plants, the fungus can impair their function and severely damage the appearance of your trees and shrubs. Not to mention, if not quickly recognized and controlled, it can easily spread to other plants in your yard. The one major symptom of sooty mold is a black or charcoal-colored sticky substance that appears on the branches, leaves, and fruits of various plants. If you notice this on your trees and shrubs, it is important to act quickly to keep the fungi from getting out of control. 

What Causes Sooty Mold?

Sooty mold can affect both deciduous and evergreen species and is primarily caused by the accumulation of insect secretion. Sucking insects such as aphids, leafhoppers, and soft scale insects secrete a sticky substance called honeydew that can adhere to trees’ branches, leaves, and fruits. This honeydew substance comprises proteins, sugars, minerals, and vitamins and is the favorite food of sooty mold fungi. These fungi spores can be transported on the wind and land on the honeydew accumulated on the surfaces of plants. The fungi will feed on the honeydew, spread to other areas of the plant, and will create black fungus strands that make up the “soot” you see on your trees and shrubs. 

Effects of Sooty Mold on Your Southeast New YorkTrees and Shrubs

While sooty mold doesn’t directly cause serious harm to your plant, it can damage its appearance and inhibit its ability to function normally. If left unchecked, sooty mold can build up on your trees and shrubs, causing them to appear blackened as if they had been exposed to fire and smoke. Additionally, if the problem is widespread, it can even hinder the photosynthesis process of your plants as the sooty mold can block light from reaching the plants’ leaves. Over a long period of time, this reduction in the plant’s ability to produce food for itself can hurt or even destroy the plant. 

Sooty Mold Prevention And Treatments

For most tree diseases and fungi here in Southeast New York, the first and most important step in preventing long-term damage to health and appearance is making sure your trees and shrubs are healthy. Sooty mold is no different, and a great place to start is finding a dependable, comprehensive tree and shrub management program like the one offered by Griffin Organics. The tree being sprayedhealthier your plants are, the better they will be able to defend themselves against fungal diseases like sooty mold. Regular fertilization, control of pests, and proper nutrients and watering will go a long way in preventing the appearance of all sorts of tree and shrub diseases. 

For sooty mold, pest control and management are crucial for preventing a sooty mold outbreak and treating the fungus after it appears. Because pests like aphids, scale insects, and whiteflies are the primary cause of sooty mold, keeping these pests out of your yard can also keep this fungal disease from affecting your trees and shrubs. If sooty mold does occur, getting these insects out of your yard and off of your plants through insecticide applications is the first step in treating the fungi. Once this problem has been addressed, the black mold substance that appears on branches and leaves can be rinsed off by rain or by spraying with a hose. 

Griffin Organics Can Help Keep Your Trees And Shrubs Free of Disease

If you want to make sure that your Southeast New York trees and shrubs are in good condition and that pests aren’t able to introduce fungi like sooty mold on your plants, let Griffin Organics be your guide. Our comprehensive tree and shrub management program focuses on identifying and treating damage and disease, integrated pest management, and regular fertilization to keep your plants healthy and able to withstand whatever comes their way.

Additionally, we have your entire lawn and garden care needs covered with grass plant fertilization, turf installation and repair, mosquito and tick control, and additional enhancements for landscaping, weed control, and pruning.

Visit our website to see specifics on our tree and shrub management program and all our other services.  Then, fill out our contact form with any questions, or give us a call at 914-788-9622 to schedule your services. Don’t forget to stay connected with us on Facebook and to keep reading our monthly blog for more helpful lawn and garden tips. 

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