Thick, swollen tips on azalea leaves - Azalea Leaf Gall

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Thick, swollen tips on azalea leaves - Azalea Leaf Gall

Post  Justin_ on Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:09 pm



I just noticed these today. It's on an azalea in the ground. The pale swellings feel a bit like fungi but they look like part of the leaf rather than something attached to it. They are hollow so possibly something living inside. Apart from these, the plant looks healthy. Any thoughts.



Last edited by Justin_ on Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added Azalea Leaf Gall to title)

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Re: Thick, swollen tips on azalea leaves - Azalea Leaf Gall

Post  fiona on Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:51 pm

I'd be interested in the answer to that as I found some as well a couple of weeks back when I was deadheading the spent flowers. I decided it was a leaf gall and treated it as such - I just picked them off - and there hasn't been any further occurrence of it. The vigour of the tree is slightly reduced but not much and it is showing signs of putting out a lot of leaves now.

The info I looked at said it was a disease most noticed in Spring (not exclusively though) but as the seasons here have all been shot to pot I didn't put too much stock in that. The tree flowered in late June rather than in May so everything was easily a month behind schedule this year - and in a "normal" season we're already a good two weeks behind you guys down south. Plus it has been wet and cooler which apparently are the ideal conditions of this disease.

I only found about four of the galls though - how many have you found?

Hope that helps.

Fiona

btw - if you google Azalea Leaf Gall images you can see plenty of examples

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Re: Thick, swollen tips on azalea leaves - Azalea Leaf Gall

Post  Kev Bailey on Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:29 pm

I have had some on a couple of Azaleas and it it can become very serious, to the point of endangering the design of the bonsai and the general health of the plant if unchecked. The galls mature and become a spore bearing powdery surfaced nasty blob. The spores are then distributed by wind and rain onto other parts and the whole tree can become infected. Vigilance and early picking off of and safe disposal any infected leaves is essential. I haven't found any other remedy, but would be glad to hear of one.

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Re: Thick, swollen tips on azalea leaves - Azalea Leaf Gall

Post  wmb13 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:46 pm

I have heard that using a fungicide helps and also not to use your bare hands when removing the galls, the spores can irritate the skin. Make sure you burn the removed galls and do not put them in a composter, the spores will contaminate everything in it.

Haven't had to try this yet, just what some of the folks in our bonsai club were saying about it.

Good luck.

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Re: Thick, swollen tips on azalea leaves - Azalea Leaf Gall

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:07 pm

I live in what has to be the azalea capitol of the world (or close by). These things are quite common, and the Extension people tell me that they're harmless but cosmetically disfiguring. Remove and destroy. Few, if any, galls are truly harmful to the plants they disfigure; they're the plant's attempt to wall off whatever it is that IS attacking them.

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Re: Thick, swollen tips on azalea leaves - Azalea Leaf Gall

Post  Justin_ on Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:56 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. There were about twelve of them but all were spread quite far apart. It's in the ground in an area that is very damp at the moment from the recent heavy rains. I've cut them all off and they're tightly wrapped in newspaper ready for burning.

One piece of advice in a Google search recommended scraping away any loose mulch beneath the plant and replacing it with a fresh layer.

Kev, were your azaleas in pots or in the ground?

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Re: Thick, swollen tips on azalea leaves - Azalea Leaf Gall

Post  Kev Bailey on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:18 pm

Mine are all Satsuki in development in pots. I lost one that was badly infected every year.

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