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Signs of damage
Damage is host-specific and fungus specific:
- Leaf damage. Deformities will appear on leaves, as well as spots and curling, and young plants will lose leaves.
- Stem cankers.
- Mold. Blue-green, brown, and red molds affect many hosts, especially crops and orchards.
- Fruit damage. Fruit and seeds will be infected, especially ripe fruit, and some will spoil the fruit’s taste, making them sour.
- Rotting. Roots, stems, and fruit will begin to rot.
- Dutch elm disease. Leaves on the upper branch start to wither and yellow out of season, followed by dieback of branches and eventually root death by lack of nutrients from the leaves.
How to prevent
Adequate sanitization practices are the first step to preventing fungal disease and most pathogens. This should be paired with optimal conditions for each plant to ensure resistance but also to reduce the likelihood of damage from any kind of disease.
Cut off any damaged tissue and remove it from the area, to ensure a clean and healthy environment. If possible, quarantine any plant that shows symptoms to reduce the spreading of the disease.
Fungicides are the best strategy against any fungus, but try to identify the pathogen first to use specialized treatment for each disease. Besides this, different plants often require different approaches.
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