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How to Identify and Treat Gall on Azaleas

Azaleas are extremely popular for homeowners and landscape designers because of their gorgeous blooms. Springtime simply wouldn’t be the same without glimpses of these beautiful flowers around the neighborhood. However, they can be susceptible to problems, particularly a condition known as “leaf gall”. At Arbor-Nomics, we provide premium lawn care services for property owners in the metro Atlanta, Georgia area. Our team enjoys helping our local customers improve the health and vitality of their grass, and ornamental tree and shrubs, and we want you to have the same great success. Here are some suggestions on how to properly identify leaf gall on your Azaleas, and how to treat it.

What is Leaf Gall?
Leaf gall is a condition caused by a specific variety of fungus; whose scientific name is Exobasidium vaccinii. It is carried easily by the wind and will often make its winter home on Azalea bark or flower buds. The same fungus is also known to attack blueberry bushes, rhododendron and camellias. It most often appears in the springtime, after long periods of rain and high moisture. Leaf gall shows up on leaves and twigs as fleshy growths that look like large green balls. It can often have a spongy texture and may harden and become brown before falling off of the leaf.

How Does Gall Effect Azaleas?
Well-established Azaleas are usually not threatened by the presence of leaf gall, though their appearance may be unsightly and overwhelm the beauty of your landscape designs. New plantings may be more adversely affected by it and will need closer monitoring until they have matured.

What Can Be Done to Treat and Prevent Leaf Gall?
Leaf gall will most often target Azaleas that are kept in dark corners of the home or are planted in clusters. One of the best ways to prevent leaf gall is to ensure that your Azalea plants are spaced out and properly pruned each year. However, if leaf gall has already begun to appear on your Azaleas, fungicide treatments are the best way to remove existing spores and decrease further development. Keep in mind that since the fungus that causes the condition is prevalent and dispersed by the wind, leaf gall can return year after year. For this reason, annual treatments may be needed to keep it to a minimum long term.

Do You Need Professional Lawn Care Services in the Atlanta Area? Call Arbor-Nomics Today
Is it time for you to invest in quality services for your grass, ornamental trees or shrubs? Then call the experts at Arbor-Nomics. Our Certified Landscape Specialists are ready to help you achieve the lawn of your dreams. We are always available to answer any questions you may have. Contact our office for more information about our wide selection of high-quality services or to schedule an appointment for your next fungicide or lawn care treatment in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, North Buckhead, Alpharetta, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Cumming, Johns Creek, Georgia and surrounding neighborhoods.