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How To Control Anthracnoseanthracnose

There are a number of various disease and fungi which can plague a lawn, sometimes it’s from forces outside of your control, other times it may be due to neglecting routine maintenance of your lawn. One such fungus that can frustrate homeowners in their efforts to have a healthy green lawn is anthracnose.

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that typically grows on plants in the early spring when the weather is still quite cool and is wet. Anthracnose mainly shows up on leaves and twigs. Cold, rainy weather are the ideal conditions for the spores of anthracnose to spread. When the weather is hotter and dry during the summer, the disease may die out but it very well could re-emerge once those rainy, wet conditions return. This problem may creep up annual but fortunately it isn’t fatal to the plants that it infects.

You can detect that a plant is infected with anthracnose when you see developments of dark-colored, water-soaked lesions on stems, leaves or fruit. The centers of these lesions often become covered with pink, gelatinous globs of spores. This fungi can spread and can degrade a healthy garden or turf into a rotting mess.

If you have anthracnose fungi present on your land, you will need to take action to put a stop to it. At Solutions Pest and Lawn, we can equip you with what you need in terms of products and techniques via our free DIY advice.


How To Get Rid of Anthracnose: 3 Step Solution

Treating a lawn disease like anthracnose can be quite tricky if you do not have the right information and correct approach. You can certainly buy quality products, but if you think that just spraying a fungicide willy nilly will do the trick, you’re sadly mistaken. The most important factor in treating a lawn disease is timing. Identifying and treating a fungus like anthracnose early can save your lawn and garden. Below we have outlined 3 basic steps to follow to successfully conduct a DIY treatment to eliminate anthracnose.


Step 1: To begin with you first need to be sure that the fungus you see is indeed anthracnose. We’ve described how it looks above but if you are not entirely sure that you have anthracnose, you can get in touch with us and take a photo of the fungi and send it to identification@solutionsstores.com and we will respond back with a correct ID of the fungus and recommend you products and tips to treat this fungus properly.


Step 2: Once you have correctly ID’d the fungus as anthracnose, you can then equip yourself with the right fungicides to eliminate it. We have a number of different concentrates which we carry in stock which can effectively remove anthracnose from your lawn. The key is to act fast. Equip yourself with a hand-pump sprayer and mix the concentrate according to the label. Spray libearlly over the infected plants and check back to see if the product is working. You may have to re-apply fungicides a few times to provide continuous control of anthracnose. Retreat if you begin to see symptoms again. We also suggest wearing the proper safety equipment for the job to prevent chemicals from coming in contact with your eyes or skin. Gloves, safety goggles and long sleeved clothing should suffice.


Step 3: Once the anthracnose has been eradicated, work to keep it from returning by practicing good routine lawn care. Keeping plants healthy by providing proper light, water and fertilizer will strengthen the plant’s ability to ward off a fungus attack. Stressed trees and plants have a difficult time recovering from anthracnose fungus.


Browse our anthracnose control products below. If you have any questions or concerns, send them our way via email, phone, or online live chat and we will be sure to get back to you with the help you need.


Learn More About Anthracnoseanthracnose on leaf


Anthracnose is a general term used to describe lawn and plant diseases that result in a wide range of symptoms including leaf spots, blotches or distortion, defoliation, shoot blight, twig cankers and dieback on many different deciduous trees and shrubs.


Anthracnose which appears on trees usually comes from an infection by fungi which can include the Apiognomonia errabunda, A. veneta, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Discula fraxinea, the Glomerella species, the Gnomonia species, some Marssonina species, and Stegophora ulmea, depending on the species of the tree which has been infected.


Anthracnose can be particularly noticeable on some trees such as sycamore, ash, oak, and evergreen elms and is quite prevalent in the early spring time when the weather is cool and rains are occurring regularly, thriving in conditions that are wet.


Anthracnose fungi requires water in order to spread and grow. In dry conditions, the disease does not appear to spread and eventually dies out. Overall, anthracnose can be a particularly frustrating disease to deal with because of how difficult it is to get rid of and how easily it can spread if the environment promotes its growth.


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Identifying Anthracnose and The Damage It Causes

Signs of the presence of anthracnose depends upon the type of plant infected, the weather conditions, and the time of year infection occurs. Anthracnose tends to attack developing shoots and expanding leaves.


If a plant is infected with anthracnose, what you may immediately notice are small beige, brown, black, or tar-like spots on the leaves of oak or elm trees. These spots also can emerge on stems, flowers and fruits with little tiny dots.


When fruits, like grapes and berries, are infected with anthracnose, they can lead to the fruits shriveling up which can be an economical issue since the fruits will not be good to sell.


On residential lawns, anthracnose is primarily a disease suffered by turf such as annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass greens under conditions of stress.


Anthracnose has become increasingly common on golf courses, particularly on putting greens, and most often begins to show up in the middle of the summer when temperatures are very high, or in the fall through spring when its cold and wet. Foliar blight develops on older leaves first and is most common in the summer. Eventually, basal rot anthracnose can develop from foliar blighting, or independently during periods of cold, wet weather or summer wilt stress. Since it often occurs when turf growth potentials are low, recovery from anthracnose can be difficult.


anthracnose outbreakLife Cycle of Anthracnose


Anthracnose fungi mainly show up on leaves and twigs. On deciduous trees, anthracnose fungi overwinter in infected twigs or on dead leaf debris. When spring comes around, anthracnose produces numerous microscopic spores that spread by splashing rain or sprinkler water to new growth where they germinate, entering leaves, grass and newly expanded twigs.


If moist conditions prevail, a successive generation of spores occurs in the infected parts of new leaves. On evergreen species such as Chinese elm, the fungus can occur year-round on leaves and twigs, but on most deciduous trees the progress of the disease slows and becomes negligible during hot, dry weather.


How To Check For The Presence Of Anthracnose

Anthracnose symptoms develop as scattered patches turf which reduce to a bronze to orangish color when the disease reaches its advanced stages of infection. Areas start off as patches a few inches in size, and can grow into larger blighted areas.


The presence of black acervuli, with hair-like setae, are the most obvious signs of anthracnose; mycelia are not produced on the outside of the plant. Acervuli can be found on the older leaves first, but can be present on green tissue in advanced stages of disease.


Plants affected by basal rot have a black discoloration of the stems and crowns; acervuli may not be present when the disease develops under cold conditions.


Treatment Options for Anthracnose

To eliminate anthracnose fungus from your land and plants, we recommend a combination of cultural control and chemical control through the use of effective fungicides labeled to treat anthracnose.


The important thing to keep in mind is that timing is key. Anthracnose is a difficult fungus to control once it has established itself onto your yard. The sooner you discover you have the disease and act on it, the better.


Act Fast With Yard Sanitation Measuresanthracnose appearance


You can start by working quickly to clear out every anthracnose affected plant and disposing of them ASAP. The spores of anthracnose have the ability reproduce on diseased plant tissue for nearly a week.


As we mentioned earlier, the fungal spores of anthracnose have the ability to overwinter in the soil and on infected leaf litter, so if you don’t do a thorough removal and cleanup of your yard, this could potentially lead to the infection sticking around for a while.


Gather, bag and toss out all anthracnose infected plants to eliminate the fungi's food source. If you are thinking about tossing these plants in your compost pile, we highly advise against composting infected plant material because your compost pile may not have reached high enough temperatures to effectively neutralize the anthracnose spores.


Those same spores can potentially survive up to six weeks on your gardening equipment as well as gloves and clothes stored at room temperature.


Because of this, we suggest washing your gloves and other gardening clothes, and applying disinfectant to your gardening tools to cut off the possibility of further plant and soil contamination and eliminating the spread of the disease.


Additional Measures Of Cultural Control

Because of the tendency for anthracnose to survive and overwinter in soil, it would not be a wise decision to plant new plants in areas where plants had been previously been infected with anthracnose.


In order to keep anthracnose spores from moving from the soil to plant tissue, put down some mulch. If you do this, make sure the mulch does not sit directly against plants' stems or bases.


Crop rotation as well as proper air circulation and sunlight lessen the chances of anthracnose fungus spreading. It is also important to water plants in the early morning, which allows them plenty of time to dry, reducing the instance of anthracnose which thrives on wetness.


Applying Fungicides To Anthracnose


As we said earlier, timing is key to eliminating anthracnose fungus so we recommend treating affected areas with one of our fungicides labeled for anthracnose before spores are able to germinate, which occurs around early spring.


Many products are formulated to work in the very early stages of the disease cycle and are less effective in the later stages. We also recommending spot treating the areas you have noticed anthracnose rather than treating your entire yard as that would be a waste of fungicide product. This will help to prevent the spread of the disease to your unaffected plants.


If fungus and disease has been a recurring problem on your property, we recommend rotating the fungicide products you are using with active ingredients that fall into different classifications.


This is to reduce the chances of fungus and disease on your turf developing a resistance to the fungicide and leaving you with a a frustrating disease that you’ll be unable to cure.


There can be situations where you may need to conduct some fungicide reapplications a number of times in order to achieve total control of anthracnose. Retreat if you begin to see symptoms of the disease again, but make sure you read the label of the fungicide your purchase carefully and follow application instructions.


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Preventing Anthracnose From Returning

Once anthracnose has been cleared from your yard, you can never be to secure in thinking that it won’t make a return.


The best preventative measures you can take against anthracnose fungal spores and keep them away is to modify your yards environment so the conditions to not favor the fungus to develop.


Anthracnose likes to establish itself in soil during periods of high rainfall and when there is lots of humidity and moistures around. If your yard is kept nice, healthy and dry with lots of air flow, these work against the anthracnose fungus.


Implement regular routines that keep your lawn and plants nice, neat and dry (for instance, reducing areas of shade, addressing drainage problems around your yard etc) and you won’t have to worry about anthracnose making a comeback.


Additional Resources About Anthracnose:

Anthracnose - Missouri Botanical Garden

Anthracnose Diseases | Focus on Plant Problems | U of I Extension

Anthracnose leaf disease : UMN Extension

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