END OF WINTER
You may recall last summer when I was taking a picture of the first "autumn" coloured leaf on our big MayDay tree out back, and spotted this gnarled dark thing on the branch beside the leaf. I found out that it was "Black Knot" disease and not fun to deal with.
This is the tree in flower later in spring, it is so pretty and the blossoms smell DELICIOUS! We would hate to lose this, that's for sure.
However reading up on how to rid our poor tree of Black Knot disease shows that it is quite the ordeal, and because the disease produces spores it's not easy. It is recommended that when you prune back the affected branches that they must be burned so as not to spread.
This is one of several knots I spotted and photographed this morning. The entire tree probably has a dozen or so knots on it in various places, that's scary.
It is also recommended that pruning this disease should be in early spring/late winter before any budding begins. That would be NOW, and hubby is aware that he needs to get out there soon.
So far, and without climbing up the tree myself to look closer, it doesn't appear that any of the larger, main branches have any on it. I hope not. If we have to cut back a bunch of smaller branches it won't be quite as bad esthetically and maybe won't have to lose as much of the tree as I fear.
However, if we can't get rid of it and it comes back even worse later on, we just might have to lose it regardless. What a shame that would be!
I hope hubby has the time to get at this soon, as it is perfect timing. We just lost most of our snow in warm sunny weather recently, and yesterday it turned colder and we got a "skiff" of snow. It's cold enough this morning that it's icey out there, so this would be perfect timing to get the job done.
My biggest worry is how he's going to get up there to do it. Obviously he can climb up on the garage roof to get at some of it, but the rest of it is not so easily accessible. I don't want him to fall and break his bones, but I can't see him paying a pruning company to come out and do it, either.
This was taken this morning, and you can almost make out several dark "spots" on the higher branches where the knots are showing up.
Wish us luck, I do hope we can save this beauty.