What is causing this on my mango trees?

Andrew ScottApril 3, 2011

Hi everyone,

First off, I want to say that I hope all of our Florida memebers made it thru this past winter with minimum damage(Nanci I know you were one of the most seriously affected by this winter! I hope your trees are recovering nicely!)

I know that this is not going to be easy sinceI cannot post any pictures right now. I still have yet to get my USB port fixed.

About a few weeks ago, I noticed that a branch on my 'Lancetilla' mango was dessicated. The branch itself was brownish/black colored. The leaves that were attached were new new leaves that had yet to mature. The leaves had also turned brown, and shriveled and dropped. I touched the branch that was dead and then further down on the main bark of the tree and it was sticky and also had patches of brown that was turning black.

Is this anthracnose or another type of fungus? I emailed Harry about a week ago and asked him about it. He had mailed me a bag of copper fungicide powder and I mixed 2 teaspoons in a 22 oz spray bottle and sprayed the entire tree. Before spraying, I used a towel and wrapped it around the soil inside the pot to protect the surface. I thought that I had read here before that you have to be carefull not to let the fungicide come into contact with the roots.

Did I approach treatment the right way? If so, how often would you guys recommend that I repeat this treatment.

My main concern is that I lose these trees. So far, it is just on my 'Carrie' and 'Lancetilla'. I did not find any on my 'Maha Chinook' but I sprayed it as a preventative. All 3 trees are in very close proximity to each other due tothe fact that I only have 2 600 watt HPS light.

For this reason, and the fact that I am going to need more growing space, I will be buying at least 2 more lights next year so if I have trees that are infected with any disease, I can isolate them from the others.

One more question. My 'Day' avocado also had severe die back and I am now wondering if it also could have been affected by this.

Thanks for all the help guys. I really am hoping to get this under control. This is the 1st year that I have ever had my mango trees look this good(up until this point) and I really am hoping to get them back to good health.

My 'Carrie' is flushing new growth and also small inflos. I have about 4 new branches growing on it.

The 'Lancetilla' is going thru growth flushes right now. I lost one nioce branch but I have a few more that are just starting to grow.

My 'Maha Chinook' is also going thru its 3rd growth flush sinceI got it in August of last year. The 1st growth flush was the largest but this happened outdoors under full sun. As of now, this tree has grown about 1ft since I got it. I am very proud of this tree. Even though I have said before that I had wished it would grow inflos, I know that it needs to grow larger to be able to produce fruit.

This spring once it goes outdoors, I will be repotting it.


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Yeah, hard to tell what's going on without a pic. Not that I could diagnose the problem anyway, but it would be interesting to see..

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 7:37PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Might want to start using a systemic fungicide on them. Some guys from FLorida recommended this. It is actually renamed and marketed from another popular fungicide they were using.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 6:51AM
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Andrew Scott

Hey Jay,
Would that make the fruits toxic though? I will check out that link when I have some time. I am going to keep an eye on them this week and see if that copper fungicide helped any. If not, then I will have to buy this. I really hate the idea of using more chmeicals. It just gets me that we are so close to summer and this crap has to happen. Each time I have to spray any of my large trees, I have to lug them to the bathtub and hose them down with whatever chemical I need to take care of the problem.
Thanks for the advice.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:23PM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

....sorry Andy - I'm as ignorant as you when it comes to plant diseases - so I'm of no help.

But hey - just take a pic and have a friend down load it for you, and pay him a thousand words......


    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 9:45PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Andrew...Sorry about the new problem...Good luck and hopefully the Copper will do the trick for you! Spring has def. arrived here(feels like summer actually,lol) hopefully you guys will get it soon! You sure deserve it...its been a very long winter for you guys!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 8:35AM
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Andrew Scott

Hello Pug,
Thanks for the condolences! I am hopefull that I can get this under control. It's great to hear from ya! How are you guys doing in central Florida? How's your new lychee working out?

I just wanted to update everyone real quick here. Yesterday I decided t otry something new. I sprayed my entire 'Carrie' tree with rubbing alcohol. I know it sounds bizzare but my buddy Mike who ocasionally visists here uses it on his succulents. I have used it as a way to kill off any bugs that I have on my tropicals and it has worked pretty well.

About 30 minutes after spraying my tree I went back in and checked it out. The tree had dried out completly and when I had gone over a branch with my fingers to feel if it was still sticky and most of the stickiness was gone and a bunch of that black crap was on my finger tips.

I am hoping that this will take care of it but if not I will have to buy this stuff that jay gave me a link for. I think I would like to have it on hand anyhow.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 12:13PM
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Andrew Scott

Sheehan emailed me and told me that I may be dealing with sooty mold. After reading up on it, it makes sense, and all the sympyoms are what i am experiencing. Also, finding out the scale was one of the problems leading up to it made complete sense. I have been dealing with scale all winter long.

Spraying with the rubbing alcohol is what I had been doing to treat and kill the dcale on my tropical ornamentals, so this may be why it was helping with the sooty mold.

Sheehan told me that I should treat with sulphur so now I need to find it and locally and start treating.

Thanks everyone for your help.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 1:39PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Andrew...I had scale and sooty mold on my Glenn over the winter when I had to leave it in the garage for long periods of time when we had frost/freeze. I treated mine with a mixture of Murphy's oil soap, water and neem oil. I had to wait till the flowers started to form mangoes before I could treat it because I didn't want to kill the blooms. I concentrated on spraying only the leaves and was very careful avoiding spraying the blooms with baby mangoes that were forming. I also did this after the sun was gone it would dry by the next day. I didn't want to sunburn the leaves. I've sprayed it 3 times since and seems to be gone now. I've heard alcohol is very good for scale too. Good luck!

Since you asked about my Lychee tree...I posted a couple of pics...hope you don't mind. I tip pruned several of the branches a couple of days after I planted it and now is putting out new growths on all the tips I pruned.

Harry is right...Lychee trees LOVE water...I've been watering this tree often plus we've had over 4" of rain in the last 8 days and it just seems to really love the regular moisture. New growths are proof of it!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 4:14PM
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Andrew Scott

Hi Nancy,
Looking good my friend! I am glad to see your luck turning around. Hopefully your trees will all grow tall and be fruitfull. I really like the lychee!

I am hoping to try these this spring, FRESH LYCHEE!

Thanks for the pics.

I have a S.A. seedling on the way. Next week I have 2 trees coming, a grafted jackfruit 'Gold Nugget' and then another 'Bell' carambola.
Hopefully the carambola makes it this time.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 8:39PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Andrew! I actually wasn't going to replace the Lychee but I couldn't help myself. I'll see how this one does over the next winter.

Congrats and Good luck with your NEW trees Andrew! Where are putting all of these new trees, on the roof,lol...

Post some pictures when you get them!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 12:33PM
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Andrew Scott

Hi Nanci,
Yeah trust me I know space is so limited and this is why I had this sooty mold problem.

Next fall I will hopefully have a few more lights and I can split my trees and other tropicals into groups of 3. I know I am going to leave my brugs and larger plumerias in the basement. They seem to be the offenders when it comes to these darn ifestations(citrus too).

When you got your mango trees cleaned up from the sotty mold, did the bark return to its normal color or did the bark still look black? Just curious because the bark no longer feels wet and sticky. I treated again last night with the rubbing alcohol and all 3 trees seem to be better than they were. I am tempted to put them out for thenext 3 days. Tuesday's low temps are supposed to be 38 so they would have to come back in but I think if I can get them outdoors in the sun and warmth, maybe this will help them out the most.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 12:48PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hey Andrew, I still had some black spots leftover on some of the bark...most of leaves cleaned up nicely but again few still had the black color...even though you can't feel them or come off if you try rubbing it off...but the bugs are gone and the leaves feel back to normal.

Hope your spring arrives soon...permanently!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 4:46PM
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