Disease Du Jour (April 20, 2011)

I’ve heard that azalea leaf gall is quite prevalent in the Feliciana parishes this spring.  Some people considered these galls to be unsightly, but I guess that a matter of personal perception.  The fungus that causes them,  Exobasidium vaccinii, only invades the young expanding leaves during the spring growth flush, and the galls are not particularly damaging to the plants. Fungicide sprays can be applied to protect the new growth, but it may be a little late at this point.  Alternatively, the infected leaves can be removed and discarded, which should help reduce the amount of inoculum that will survive until next spring.  Similar galls are often seen on susceptible varieties of Camellia sasanqua.

For more information, see the Louisiana Plant Pathology fact sheet at http://tinyurl.com/3kqruy7.

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About Don Ferrin

I am an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Plant Patholgy & Crop Physiology with the LSU AgCenter in Baton Rouge. I have statewide responsibility for issues and educational programs related to diseases of all horticultural crops in Louisiana.
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