Hawthorn Leaf Blight Treatment [Causes and Prevention]

Bing a beautiful flowering shrub, Hawthorn is everyone’s favorite. But the problem arises when its leaves are affected by the leaf blight disease. Hence, if you own the shrub and fell in such a situation you ask for hawthorn leaf blight treatment.

Well, the moment you discover your hawthorn is having leaf spots on them, prompt treatment is necessary. However, hawthorn leaf blight takes place when the fungus Entomosporium mespili attacks the leaves being on the asexual stage. Again, there are several reasons like weather issues, watering problems, nutritional imbalance, and others that are responsible for the fungus attack.

Therefore, the treatment also varies depending on the specific reasons. So, to cure your Hawthorn leaf from the blight disease keep up with us till the end. We will discuss everything regarding the topic.

Symptoms of Hawthorn Leaf Blight

Hawthorne Leaf Spot

Hawthorn leaf blight can survive the entire winter through fallen leaves of the plant or green twigs. So, this way they can cause secondary infection during spring. However, you can easily detect the disease by some of its prominent symptoms which are given below.

  • Initially, the disease develops as small brown spotting on leaves. A grouping of such spots is visible on the leaves at first.
  • Later the brown spots turn into reddish-purple or yellow halo on the leaves.
  • Eventually, the spots start to show up on the stems and fruits as well.
  • The reddish halo gradually spreads from leaf to leaf like a wildfire.
  • If the environment is in favor of the fungus, then the spots will be more visible on the leaves. Generally, cool and wet weather creates favorable conditions for this fungal attack.
  • The leaf spots show fruiting structures on them along with the production of spores on a repeating cycle.
  • After several weeks, the infestation becomes severe when the brown spots coalesce together and create blotches of brownish gray or purplish gray color.
  • Moreover, you may also discover some small holes on the leaf surface that create discoloration as well.
  • Eventually, it affects the premature leaves causing yellow spots on them. Later on, the disease makes the premature yellow leaves drop.
  • In the end, most leaves and other parts of the hawthorn are attacked and the disease eats away the tissues of the leaves. Consequently, the plant dies.

Causes of Leaf Blight in Hawthorn

1. High Humidity

Fungal attack is very common when the humidity is high in the environment. High humidity also enhances insect infestation in several plants. Hawthorn is also not an exception. Moreover, bacterial and parasitic attacks can also take place in such a situation.

Nonetheless, leaf blight in Hawthorn is also the result of high humidity. The attack becomes severe when the humidity level remains high consistently or for a longer period.

2. Poor Air Circulation

High humidity along with poor air circulation also increases several fungal attacks and diseases. Undoubtedly, leaf blight or leaf spot of hawthorn is also one of the diseases. Poor air flow does not allow the plant to respire properly.

Hence, due to lack of respiration, the metabolism of hawthorn is also affected. So, the plant becomes weak and fungus can easily attack it. Consequently, you face hawthorn leaf blight.

3. Watering Issues

Incorrect watering also causes leaf blight of hawthorn. If you overwater the plant, then the water will be stagnant near the roots. As a result, the roots will rotten soon and fungus will attack. Consequently, it will also affect the leaves and stems of the plant.

So, several leaves and stem diseases will also show up. Leaf blight is also one of them. Again, if you keep your hawthorn plant without watering for long then the plant will fail to pull up the nutrients from the ground or soil. Hence, the result will be the same as it will not get any food.

Moreover, the watering technique also induces the attack of hawthorn leaf spots or blight disease. Splashing water over the leaves is also a major invitation to many leaf diseases. Over-misting of foliage is also a reason for this problem.

4. Rainfall

Cool rainwater is highly inducive for the fungal attack in hawthorn. A wet and cool environment is favorable for hawthorn leaf blight disease.

Moreover, during spring when rainfall occurs it splashes the spores from the debris over the growing leaves. Hence, secondary germination and penetration of leaves take place in this way.

Furthermore, rainwater keeps the hawthorn leaves wet and enhances the infestation. Eventually, it also affects the green shoots.

5. Temperature Fluctuations

Fluctuation of temperature is also a reason for many types of diseases of hawthorn. Among them, leaf blight is one. Even though you have no control over the environment yet it affects the plant in several ways. Hence, areas, where the temperature is not consistent but has planted hawthorn shrubs, will face such problems.

6. Fertilizing Issues

It is very obvious that if your precious hawthorn does not feed properly, it will start showing several symptoms. Among them, leaf spots are very prominent. Unfertilized soil does not allow any plant to thrive properly.

In fact, it helps in stunting the growth of the plant. So, it becomes a very serious issue when hawthorn does not get proper nutrients through proper fertilization.

Treatment of Hawthorn Leaf Blight

Proper Pruning

Proper pruning of the affected leaves is the first treatment you need to adopt. Remove all the heavily blighted leaves and other parts of the hawthorn plant.

Nonetheless, make sure you are performing pruning using sterilized tools. When you are done pruning, put back the tools after sterilizing them again.

However, if there are only one or two spots on some leaves, then you do not need to prune them. Adopting some homemade remedies can fix them.

Right Watering

This is a very important treatment when your hawthorn is intensely affected by leaf blight. Do not splash water over leaves. In fact, make sure the leaves of your hawthorn are always dry. keeping the leaves dry is required for fast recovery of the plant.

Apply Homemade Remedies

Professionals out there suggest applying some effective homemade remedies to control the leaf blight of hawthorn. The remedies are given below.

# You can frequently spray neem oil over the infested areas. Just take two tablespoons of oil with half a gallon of water in a spray bottle and then spray over the leaves. It is the best organic way.

# Horticultural oil has also proven to be effective in case the leaf blight attack is in its initial stage. Spray the oil same as the way we have instructed above for neem oil.

# Baking soda solution with water is also a great remedy for treating hawthorn leaf spots. Mix a quart of water with a spoonful of baking soda and apply on the leaves. It can eliminate fungal spores.

Apply Fungicide

When the attack gets severe, you may need to apply fungicides that are specifically manufactured to treat leaf blight. You can apply fungicides that are copper-based. These fungicides are proven effective and also, safe for hawthorn plants.

Prevention of Hawthorn Leaf Blight

Planting Area

Before you plant your hawthorn make sure the area and its environment are suitable for its thriving. Try to avoid areas where fluctuation in temperatures occurs. moreover, humidity and rainfall also depend on the area and its region.

Also, make sure the area is providing proper air circulation. Thus, plant your tree where it will get the right amount of airflow.

Avoid Misting

Try not to splash or mist over the hawthorn leaves. Thus, you have to be a bit careful while watering. Wet leaves are more prone to such fungal or bacterial infections.

  • Regular Cleaning

You have to rake up all fallen debris on a regular basis. Otherwise, secondary infection through overwintering will take place in the next season. Also, do not leave the fallen fruits and other parts.

Apply Mulch

Mulching is another great preventive idea for the leaf blight of hawthorn. Just cover the soil with mulch where you have planted your hawthorn.

Mulching helps hold the soil moisture. Moreover, it also does not allow any pathogen or fungus, or bacteria to come near the plant.

However, some local garden center sells readymade mulch for plants. But you can make it by using leaves, bark chips, and grass clippings. Generally, 2 to 3 inches thick mulch plays a better role.

Prune Regularly

Pruning shrub is an important intercultural operation that you should never skip. The same goes for the hawthorn plant. Pruning also induces the growth of leaves and the plant itself.

Neem Treatment

Performing routine treatment of neem to your plant can also prevent leaf blight disease. Spraying the oil each month on a regular basis works effectively towards all kinds of bacterial or fungal issues. It also deals with the attack of pests and insects.

Space Out Hawthorn Plants

Try not to plant your hawthorns too close to each other. It allows the fast spreading of diseases. Moreover, it also does not allow proper air circulation among the plants. Thus, create room for your hawthorns to breathe properly.

Optimum Requirement for Growing Hawthorn

Soil pH6.0 to 7.5
WaterWater during dry spells
Temperature15 to 20 degrees Celsius
Growth12 to 24 inches per year


Should I Cut Off Leaves With Rust?

It is always suggested pinching of the rusted part of the leaves. Removing them from the garden is important to stop the spread. However, never cut off 1/3rd of the plant leaves in one go.

Does Hawthorn Grow Back?

Yes, only if you plant it as a tree. It will grow compactly. However, as a clipped hedge, do not expect the hawthorn to grow back.

Can You Cut Hawthorn Back Hard?

Well, hard pruning is not that essential when it is to hawthorn. However, you can prune them when they get robust.

Final Words

Now that you know the hawthorn leaf blight treatment, start applying them to get rid of the disease.

Moreover, since the tree is prone to this disease, adopting preventive measures would be wise as well.

Lastly, take care of your hawthorn ensuring a suitable environment. So, if our article was informative enough then let us know through your precious feedback.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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