Spot anthracnose on dogwood
Jean Williams-Woodward, UGA Plant Pathologist
Spot anthracnose of dogwood, not to be confused with the lethal canker disease, dogwood anthracnose, is common on flowering dogwoods in the Spring. Spot anthracnose, caused by the fungus, Elsinoe corni, causes small, circular, reddish spots on the bracts and leaves. Severe infection can cause leaf and bract distortion.
Spot anthracnose is mostly an aesthetic disease. It will not kill the trees or significantly affect tree growth. Once spots are seen, it is too late to manage the disease with fungicides. Fungicides are generally not needed nor recommended unless in nurseries where tree’s aesthetics can affect sales. Fungicides needed to be applied at bud break to reduce infection and disease development.