Crabapple trees can add endless beauty to your yard with their pink or white flowers and shiny red apples. However, these trees are notoriously susceptible to fungal diseases such as apple scab and brown rot. If you want your trees to stay healthy and vibrant, it's essential to take steps to protect them from these fungal infections.
Step 1: Have the tree pruned often.
Most homeowners assume that the only reason to have a tree pruned is to keep it looking nice. However, there's a more important reason to have your tree trimmed by an expert once a year. This ensures that dead branches are removed. Since dead branches are often the site of entry for fungal spores, removing them early helps reduce the risk of a fungal infection. Plus, your tree care expert will be up close with your tree, so if there are any signs of a fungal infection, they will notice them and be able to recommend treatment early on.
Step 2: Don't get it too wet.
You can't stop a rainstorm, but there are some other things you can do to keep your tree from getting too wet. Since fungi thrive on moist branches, keeping your tree dry will reduce its chances of infection. Never allow your sprinkler to get your tree wet when you water the lawn, your crabapple tree, or nearby bushes. Also, make sure none of your gutters are dripping onto the tree (if your tree is located near the house).
Step 3: Rake up leaves and apples more often.
When the leaves and crabapples start falling from the tree during the autumn, you might be tempted to just wait until they all fall and then rake them up. However, it's better to rake them up every week or two as they fall. This is because both the apples and the leaves can harbor fungi. If you leave them on the ground too long, the fungi can replicate and re-infect the tree.
Step 4: Consider having it sprayed.
If you live in an area where diseases like apple scab and brown rot are notably common, you may even want to have your crabapple tree sprayed with fungicides in the spring. This is especially important if you live near an apple orchard, as most of these fungal diseases can be passed between apple and crabapple trees.
To learn more about caring for your crabapple tree, talk to a tree service company like On Demand Tree Services.