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Nashville, Ark. – If you plan to plant them, prepare to spray diligently with a fungicide
from bud break until leaves are fully mature. Keeping the fallen leaves all raked
and burned is a must. This shrub may look beautiful, but it can and will be a lot
of work. Photinia leaf spot, caused by the fungus Entomosporium mespili, is a widespread
and damaging disease on the popular ornamental shrub, redtip photinia (Photinia x
fraseri). The Indian hawthorn (Raphiolepisis indica) and some pear cultivars (Pyrus
sp.) are also susceptible to this disease. The disease is most destructive during
cool, wet weather and when active growth is occurring.
The first symptoms of photinia leaf spot are tiny, circular, bright red
spots which appear on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces. Numerous spots may coalesce
into large purple blotches. Mature leaf spots develop a gray center. Black specks
within the spot represent the spore producing bodies of the fungus. The leaf spot
will have a distinctive dark red to purple margin. Similar spots also develop on leaf
petioles and stem tissues during cool, wet periods when the fungus is most active.
Extensive leaf drop, which may result from severe infections, can lead to eventual
The fungus overwinters in infected leaves and shoots from the previous
year. These are important sources for future disease outbreaks. Masses of spores are
produced and released from the spots from late winter through spring. Spore dispersal
slows during hot, dry periods Fungal spores are mainly spread by splashing water.
New leaf spots may appear 10 to 14 days after infection during warm, wet conditions
in the spring. On photinia, the reddish new flush of leaves is the most susceptible.
Infections often start at the bottom portions of the plant and move upwards during
cool, rainy periods. Practices that encourage a flush of succulent growth, such as
summer pruning, frequent pruning and fertilization, often favor disease development.
Presently, there are no resistant selections of retip photinia to photinia leaf spot.
Chinese and Japanese photinia tend to be less susceptible than the red tip photinia.
Levels of resistance are available in Indian hawthorn cultivars.
When planting, purchase only plants with no leaf symptoms. Provide adequate
spacing between plants and avoid overhead irrigation to minimize leaf wetness. Remove
and destroy fallen diseased leaves. Avoid overfertilization and watering which may
stimulate lush growth and reduce pruning during the summer which promotes new growth.
It may be necessary to remove severely infected plants and replace with a less susceptible
species. Plants with a history of leaf spot may require protectant fungicidal sprays
in early spring. Routine preventative fungicide applications may be required to maintain
healthy specimens in the landscape. Fungicide choices include materials with the active
ingredients of cholorothalonil, myclobutanil, propiconazole, triforine and triadimefon.
Multiple applications may be necessary, beginning at bud break until all new foliage
is matured. Fungicide sprays in combination with sanitation are needed to maintain
For more information, you can visit www.uaex.uada.edu, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Howard County Extension office is still working and is there for all the residents
in Howard County during this time.
By Samantha Kroll County Extension Agent - AgricultureThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Samantha Kroll County Extension Agent - Agriculture U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.