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3 Signs Your Crepe Myrtle Is In Distress

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Green grass, a few shrubs, and some colorful flowers will add enormous appeal to your yard. However, the addition of a few trees can increase your home's curb appeal and overall value tremendously. While surprising to learn, mature trees can increase your property value by 20 percent. Of course, proper care will be necessary to ensure your trees and surrounding landscape are both attractive and healthy for many years to come. If you have one or more crepe myrtles in your yard, you probably understand the benefits of trees. However, you may not realize your crepe myrtles require treatment to restore their health. If you are noticing one or more of these signs, it is time to consult a professional to save your crepe myrtle.

Leaf Spot

Brown spots on the leaves of your crepe myrtle is most likely a fungus known as leaf spot disease. This common fungus spreads quickly, so if you have one tree with leaf spot, your other trees will most likely also have the disease.

Leaf spot disease is most prominent in the mid-to late summer season, but will turn brown and fall off as the fall season approaches. By the middle of fall, your crepe myrtle may be completely bare of any leaves due to this disease.

Prevention is your best weapon against fighting leaf spot disease. If you are considering planting more of these trees, make sure to choose an area of your yard that receives full sunlight and offers sufficient air circulation. This will ensure the tree does not become excessively moist while in constant shade.

To treat an existing crepe myrtle with leaf spot disease, prune away and spotty leaves and any branches and limbs that are in close contact with the infected leaves. Also, prune away limbs in the middle of the tree to improve air circulation. This will reduce moisture that could lead to fungus.

Powdery Residue

White, powdery residue on the leaves and flowers of your tree is most likely mildew. This filmy fungus can quickly spread across your entire tree, causing leaves to curl and shrivel away. The beautiful floral blooms of the tree will die and fall to the ground, as well, if the tree is affected by mildew.

As with leaf spot disease, insufficient sunlight and poor air circulation will cause the mildew fungus. In most cases, the mildew will be most visible in the summer months when weather is hot and humid. Thankfully, you can restore your tree back to health.

Trim off any infected leaves and flowers to prevent further spreading. Since the mildew can spread, do not allow the infected parts to fall on the ground under the tree. Dispose of these parts in a waste bag to protect your tree and other plants. Then, spray horticultural oil that is designed to fight fungus onto the tree.


If you notice the leaves of your crepe myrtle have a sooty residue, you most likely have a mold issue. This mold is actually caused by the leftovers insects will leave behind on the leaves after feeding on honeydew.

Mold may cover the leaves and twigs of the tree, appearing similar to dark brown or black powdery film or even black spots. Scratching the mold on the leaves will remove the residue, allowing you to see the green under the leaves, but it best not to touch the mold since it is known to cause allergies and respiratory problems.

Killing the insects will stop the mold growth on your tree. If you see any insects on the tree, use your garden hose to rinse them away. This is the most efficient way to stop the spread of mold. However, you should also apply a pesticide during the spring and summer. This will repel insects, reducing the risk of mold.

Ensuring your crepe myrtle is healthy is essential for protecting the appeal of your home and landscape design. Using this guide, you will learn the signs your tree is in distress and in need of a treatment. Reach out to a tree service like Pete & Ron's Tree Service, Inc. for more information.