Help identify problem with sweetbay and little gem.

rakin(7b)July 23, 2014

I am having a couple of problems. One my little gem magnolias have some older leaves that have what looks like mildew or mold growing on them. The new leaves look fine and it does not seem to be affecting the tree, yet. However, since I noticed a major problem with my sweetbays, I thought I had better include the little gems, just to be on the safe side.

My sweetbays, they are being taken over by something. FYI - they are in large built in planters, plenty big enough to support these trees for a good long time. Drainage is exellent, and they receive plenty of water. They are continuing to put on new leaves and have grown well since putting them in back in October. I fertilized with holly tone as well as 1 tree stake in late March. I took these photos to my local nursery, and they offered the following suggestions.

1. A fungus of some sort. Apply diconal (sp?).
2. Cause is most likely the wet humid conditions. In addition they are in planters next to my pool and as a result the evaporation from the pool is probably keeping conditions ripe for a fungus to grow.
3. (something that I mentioned) the planters are brick and are resting on the pool deck. Result - lime leaching into soil causing ph issues. We tested the ph and are getting neutral ( around 7) readings. Will have to stay on top of this.

Little gem, back of leaf. This is by far the worst one that I could find. Others have less spotting.

Front of sweetbay leaf. Looks like iron deficiency? Possibly ph issue? Notice the yellow follow the same line as the fungus(?) on the back of the leaf. Is it a separate issue or one thing causing the other?

Back of sweetbay leaf. All but the newest leaves have this to some degree. But they all start out following the mid vein. Some leaves have progressed to having the entire back covered. They then die and fall. But so far only a few have fallen. Nothing yet beyond a normal amount, except for the reason that they are falling.

Branch from the sweetbay. Looks like bs similar to what roses get. It is on all of the green branches. The older brown branches look normal, but the green tender branches are thoroughly covered in spots.

What I have done so far:
Saturday, saturated the sweetbays with daconil. The spots on the branches may be slightly better. Leaves, I can't tell a difference yet.
Sunday, added ironite/holly tone mix.

This is what the entire tree looks like. Without getting up close, you cannot tell that there is anything wrong. Also, notice that the petunias are loving this location.

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Looks like leaf spot and branch canker. Usually from overly wet conditions.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:34AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what did you fill the planter with???

if soil.. then you might want to have a soil test done ... one might wonder about leaching from the brick and cement ... if the planter is rather new????

how is it watered... and does it have drain holes???

frankly .... last pic.. i would not waste my time worrying about it... it looks great for a large transplant less than a year ago ...

and a little cosmetic leaf loss in the heat of summer.. wouldnt bother me all that much ...

and dont get me wrong.... IDing .. and maladies is knowledge.. and knowledge is power ... but knowing what it is.. does NOT mean immediate action is requisite ...

and do understand.. that often ... if the plant is stressed ... then stuff happens.. but the key is to solve the stress... the cause .. rather than attacking the result ... the leaf damage ..

what has the ambient weather been this growing season... heat waves.. or torrential rains... if rain.. is the planter draining??? [drainage issue]

if heat.. is the planter moist thru the whole root mass.. w/o drowning the plants roots.. [media issue]


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:37AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

duplicate post


This post was edited by ken_adrian on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 9:49

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:48AM
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Well, it has gotten worse. I am having an arborist come out tomorrow. Just talking over the phone and describing the issue, he is perplexed. For our area, they just don't normally have problems like this. Also, my neighbor has two beautiful sweetbays in her front yard, and they show no sign of problems. In addition, there are little gems throughout my subdivision. (one area is even called "The Magnolias" and my section is called "The Gardens" - named so for all of the different types of magnolias planted here) I am not seeing anything like what I am experiencing, so it must be just me! I have no idea what I am doing so wrong.
The little gem now has about 50 percent of its leaves looking like the first photo. Only the newest leaves at the tips of the branches look healthy. Some of the older leaves are turning yellow and falling off, although that could be just natural for them, but considering the other problem, I just won't know until tomorrow.
Hopefully, he will find some reason that is easy to fix.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:41PM
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Also, I notice one of the unopened blooms has spots.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:57PM
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