Tackling Black Knot Disease Is No Sweat with Professional Tree Care Services

Tackling Black Knot Disease Is No Sweat with Professional Tree Care Services

Block Knot on a tree branch

With cherry, plum, almond, apricot, and peach trees blooming in succession, spring is in full swing, balancing Fall’s leafy firework display with pastel blooms soft as cotton candy and cloudy dawns. While the warming weather and increase in moisture brings on this beautiful spring bounty, Spring weather also awakens dormant insects and fungal spores, including apiosporina morbosa, commonly known as Black Knot fungus. 

This is the time of year when tree care service providers begin looking out for signs of this pesky fungal infection on prunus trees. While these infections are most noticeable at the end of its life cycle in fall and winter when unsightly black galls form on branch joints and trucks of a tree, it’s the warm, damp conditions that help spread Black Knot fungus to neighboring prunus plants. Newly-infected plants exhibit olive green spore overgrowth on healthy tissue that may be obscured by leaves throughout the spring and summer. 


When it comes to identifying Black Knot fungus is to look for obscure infected branches. If you suspect that your tree has Black Knot fungus, or another type of disease like Needle Cast or Blight, but you aren’t sure, you can seek out the advice and services of a professional arborist in your area, like the team at Preservation Tree Care in Denver. 

Left untreated, Black Knot fungus spreads and can eventually kill your trees, as the ruptured galls expose inner bark to insects or infection and may even girdle infected branches, cutting the exchange of water and energy to extremities. Luckily, local tree care service providers like Preservation Tree Care in Denver are trained to identify and eliminate Black Knot before it becomes fatal. Tree care service providers carrying out routine tree care plans including tree trimming services, essential watering, and inspections by master arborists can often identify and treat Black Knot gall spores before they rupture, scab, and hinder the beauty of your trees. If you have prunus trees and shrubs on your property or are looking to plant some, master arborists and tree care specialists can help with the following black gall prevention and treatment steps.

Preventative Planting in Denver

While it may seem obvious to consult a master arborist or seek out the services of a professional tree care provider to assist with the planting of a new tree, it is especially important to seek assistance if you are planting cherry, plum, apricot, peach, nectarine, or almond varieties. Not only will your fruit trees benefit from optimal planting methods at the hands of professionals, but these varieties also require careful, site-specific planning to prevent the spread of Black Knot fungus. Master arborists and certified tree care experts can identify neighboring trees and shrubs that might harbor black gall and choose planting sites out of reach. They can also identify resistant cultivars if Black Knot has proliferated in rural sites bordering forested areas with wild plum, black cherry, and chokecherry that also harbor the fungus. Professional inspection of the site by master arborists and certified tree care service providers, like those at Preservation Tree Care, can make all the difference in the survival of new prunus trees on your property. 

Routine Tree Care Services in Denver

The list of benefits of regular and professional tree care services cannot be understated for any tree, but tree care services are especially important when it comes to Black Knot fungus prevention. A dedicated arborist, like the Denver team at Preservation Tree Care, can take the guesswork out of maintaining healthy, beautiful, and productive trees. 

Tree services like Preservation Tree Care’s essential watering program, regular pruning, and periodic inspection by board certified master arborists keep trees at their healthiest. With professional tree care, fruiting prunus trees can not only be trained to bear the most fruit, but regular tree trimming ensures open branch habits that actually slow the spread of Black Knot spores by increasing airflow and allowing excess moisture to dry. Because tree care service providers are trained to optimize branch spacing for fruit production and strength, as well as trained to make tree trimming cuts in ways that prevent injury to the tree, consulting your local tree care service specialists is always the safest bet. 

Finally, site inspection by tree care service providers can help them determine what pest or fungal preventatives might be most beneficial for your tree. In cases where a tree is a highly susceptible prunus cultivar living in areas with neighboring wild or commercial trees experiencing black knot infections, tree care service providers may recommend routine application of fungicidal preventatives. Consulting professional tree care service providers like those at Preservation Tree Care in Denver takes the guesswork out of tree care. When it comes to which fungicide, in a variety of amounts, and at any interval, a certified arborist can help you provide the best care.

Early Detection and Treatment for Black Knot

In addition to ensuring your trees receive the watering and pruning they need, regular visits with tree care specialists, especially from board certified master arborists in Denver, means that you have professional eyes on your trees. An experienced arborist can help you identify Black Knot fungus in its earliest stages, so you can stop the spread and save your tree. 

Infected branches in early stages can respond well to the proper application of fungicide, meaning your tree may avoid proliferation of unsightly black galls. The truth is, once the more recognizable black galls appear on your prunus tree, the lifecycle of the spores has already been completed and the galls are gearing up to spread new spores out to infect neighboring branches and trees. Though this is not necessarily a cause for alarm, as Black Knot can still be treated at this stage, it is nice to know that with regular maintenance and inspection at the hands of master arborists and tree care service providers, more drastic treatments of black knot on your prunus trees can be prevented.

Late-Stage Black Gall Treatment 

If you are already seeing the crusty black buildup of Black Knot galls on your prunus trees, know that a local tree care company, like Preservation Tree Care in Denver, will have your back during any phase of a tree fungus’ life cycle. When it comes to a tree fungus, not all trees respond in the same way to a treatment. A tree’s needs are dependent on the tree, the degree of infection, and other surrounding plant life. A certified arborist will take the guesswork out of a proper treatment plan and will come up with something that truly works for your tree and its environment. 

With advanced Black Knot fungus, branches need to be safely removed and infected material must be burned to prevent the spread of spores. When you consult with a tree care service company, you are guaranteed proper tree trimming and can rest easy knowing that disposal of waste materials will be properly attended to. Regular follow-up inspections and possible application of fungicidal treatments following branch removal is often necessary following Black Knot infection and is best left to tree care service providers under the direction of a master arborist. Added bonus, routine care can usually be rolled into existing tree care plans for essential watering, soil treatment, and fire mitigation. as well as inspection of trees and removal of dead or diseased branches.  Black Knot is no fun, but partnering with tree care service providers will take the headache out of treatment and help ensure you are enjoying the bounty of blooms and fruits from your prunus trees for years to come. 

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