BLS – Bacterial Leaf Scorch

Bacterial Leaf Scorch

This unique, systemic disease effects many species of Oaks, Sycamore, Red Maple, and Sweet Gum among others. This bacterial infection is spread by various xylem feeding insects which feed on the terminal shoots of the host tree which is where the bacteria gains entry. Upon gaining entry to the vascular system, the bacteria is able to spread easily throughout the tree clogging the xylem vessels and thereby impeding water and nutrient uptake (much the same as a high cholesterol diet would clog ones arteries).

The most noticeable symptoms is the premature browning of the leaf tissue – beginning at the margin and spreading inward. There is usually a noticeable bright yellow band separating the damaged tissue from healthy green tissue. While this infection cannot be cured, symptoms can be managed via the injection of a control agent (oxytetracycline). Often, symptoms can be further reduced through growth regulators and supplemental nutrients along with implementing other sound cultural practices. If you suspect BLS activity on your landscape, Lang’s can help – see our Mature Tree Care Services on our website or reach out to us for a free evaluation & estimate.

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