Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

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Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

Post  Yamato on Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:17 pm

Hello everybody! First post for me here.

I noticed on my red maple signs of powdery mildew. I was about to treat it but I read somewhere that if Autumn is close (here in UK it's already pretty cold), treatment could be avoided.

I would still intervene to avoid contamination to braches too and I was wondering if baking soda+mild soap+water (+olive oil?) or other "home made" potion may suffice.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Yamato
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Re: Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

Post  BrendanR on Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:02 pm

Maples are prone to mildew, and they struggle to recover.

At this time of the year the tree starts the dormancy cycle. The leaves will go brown as the tree removes the sap from the upper section and flows it down into the roots for storage over winter.

Thus you will want to leave any healthy leaves - as many as possible.

But remove and throw out any dead or badly infected leaves and cut off and discard any infected branches. When you cut off an infected branch leave a good margin, so cut a bit deeper into the healthy side.

Treat the tree with a fungicide.

Then keep it somewhere semi-shady and airy - fungus likes shade and still air.

Fingers crossed.

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Re: Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

Post  Yamato on Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:41 pm

Dear Brendan,

Thank you very much for your help and advice: much appreciated and very clear.

Would you suggest a "home made" solution or a specific fungicide (I read about Bayer fungus fighter plus but I'm not sure).

Thanks again,

Y.
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Re: Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

Post  BrendanR on Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:10 pm

Buy a good quality fungicide that is recommended for this type of fungus. You will need to re-treat the tree in the spring anyway, plus it is handy to have some if you keep bonsai.

I generally have a good fungicide, and a systemic pest killer on hand.

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Re: Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

Post  Yamato on Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:33 pm

Thank you for this. All clear: in my case I think there is an issue with ventilation (I'll try to find an alternative location).

Kind regards,

Y.
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Re: Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

Post  augustine on Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:36 pm

You could also thin out the dense areas by cutting off half of some (individual) leaves, increase the air circulation.

And do not water the foliage. Clean your tools after work so you don't spread the fungus.

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Re: Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

Post  Yamato on Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:14 pm

Thank you Augustine for the advice: appreciated!

I finally moved the tree to a less protected position; now it's just a question of convincing the Wife to buy a nice bonsai display table!

The Maple seems to respond well to the treatment: I used Bayer fungus fighter plus. I originally intended to use a home made solution, but I eventually saw that the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) was quoting this product among remedies agains mildew.

Kind regards,

Y.
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Re: Powdery mildew - should it stay or should it go?

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