Relatively few diseases can infect and ultimately kill otherwise healthy plants in Central New York lawns, landscapes and gardens.
Rather, most diseases common across upstate New York are caused by "opportunistic," or "secondary" pathogens. What this means is that these diseases are most likely to infect only those plants that are already stressed by drought, excessive rainfall, improper planting, root damage during construction, cold winter temperatures, etc.
Most other common diseases are a nuisance, rather than a serious threat to plant health.
Examples of these diseases are tarspot on the leaves of Norway maple trees, at left, and apple scab on the leaves of flowering crabapple trees. While both diseases cause dramatic symptoms, neither is a threat to the health of infected plants.
Finally, it's important to remember that in many, if not most cases, declining plant health isn't caused by any kind of disease or insect, but rather by culture-related conditions such as those mentioned above - drought, overwatering, improper planting, overfertilization, etc.
So, to help you understand some of the most common diseases, or disease-like symptoms facing Central New York gardeners, click on the links at right.