Home generalCombat shotgun disease - with these natural home remedies

Combat shotgun disease - with these natural home remedies

  • Shotgun disease - definition
  • Harming
  • Different methods
    • Cut affected areas
    • Onion-garlic-Sud
    • Put antifungal plants around tree
    • Nettle or horsetail
    • Horseradish Sud
    • Yarrow Sud
    • Brush the trunk with clay

Many holes in the leaves of a plant are often caused not by a pest infestation but by a fungus. This Wilsonomyces carpophilus is responsible for the shotgun disease, which affects mainly stone fruit. Like any fungus, it should be fought.

If small, round holes appear on cherry or other stone fruit trees on leaves that are reminiscent of shotguns, then it is likely to be the shotgun disease caused by the fungus Wilsonomyces carpophilus. As against any fungal attack, this should be dealt with promptly. Who does not want to come up with the chemical club directly, can also use various home remedies against the fungus.

Shotgun disease - definition

The fungus responsible for the small holes on the leaves of plants is called Wilsonomyces carpophilus and is known only as an asexual form. He belongs to the genuine ascomycetes and can only reproduce asexually. In particular, all stone fruit, but also cherry laurel and other trees of the family of Prunus species are attacked. Especially after a wet spring, the disease can be particularly severe. For example, local humid climatic regions, for example with a lot of fogging, are particularly at risk. The fungus multiplies as follows:

  • Conidia can be spread by raindrops
  • In the humid climate, it increases explosively
  • Propagation can also occur in spurts
  • overwintered in the barks of the trees
  • also on the fruit mummies or infested shoots
  • lowermost leaves in the interior of the crown frequently affected
  • Here, rain can wash off the spores worse
  • Trees are killing from the inside out
  • Infestation is often recognized late
  • only young, non-resilient foliage gets infected

Since the fungus also enters the plant via the attachment points of the fallen leaves in late summer or autumn, late damage can be the result, especially if the autumn is very humid. From here the mushroom penetrates into the new buds formed for the next year and destroys them.


It is important to recognize the shotgun disease as early as possible. Therefore, the plants should also be viewed regularly from inside the crown. Especially in rainy years or climates, this is highly recommended. The damage picture on the affected plants is as follows:

  • The first thing that appears is the lightening of young leaves
  • turn reddish brown within a short time
  • the plant itself fights against it
  • it remains red edged, small holes in the sheet
  • in case of stronger infestation appearance as perforated by shotgun pellets
  • fruits show black spots with red edges
  • Fruits tear and dry up
  • also shoots, often with peach, can be affected
  • red-brown round to oblong spots
  • sunken branches with rubbery drops

The thin infected shoots usually die quickly, the older ones show the cancerous growths as a sign of defense reactions of the tree. If a plant is heavily infested, then it comes to a premature dropping of the leaves. Affected trees are already bald in the summer, which can lead to significant crop failures.

Tip: Especially affected are cherries, mirabelles, plums, peach, but also ornamental cherry, cherry laurel and the almond tree, which also depends on the variety. When buying a new tree, therefore, the question of the respective vulnerability should be clarified directly in the garden trade.

Different methods

Cut affected areas

The best way to protect a newly infested tree from the fungus is to remove the corresponding spots directly. The procedure is as follows:

  • remove all affected leaves generously
  • Ideally with shoot
  • remove all buds, flowers or fruits that show abnormalities
  • at the same time remove dried branches and shoots
  • Tint treetops altogether
  • so the leaves can dry faster
  • Dispose of all cut parts in the residual waste
  • on the compost, the fungus could continue to multiply
  • is distributed with compost back in the garden

Above all, it must be ensured that no so-called fruit mummies remain on the tree, because these are often taken by the fungus, which is responsible for the shotgun disease, as a wintering quarter.

Tip: During work, the secateurs should also be disinfected again and again in between. Especially after cutting the affected areas, this is definitely recommended. Otherwise, the spores attached to the cutting tool could reach the still healthy shoots and branches of the trees.


Helpful and good against a fungal attack acts an onion-garlic broth, which can be made by yourself. This sprays the affected areas of a tree over several days. Of course, this remedy only helps with a low infestation. The broth should be used after cutting and removing the affected shoots, branches and leaves. This is made as follows:

  • a portion of onion
  • a part of garlic
  • for a 100-gram onion two garlic bulbs
  • cut both into small pieces
  • Boil with a liter of water
  • cook for about 30 minutes
  • let cool down
  • Strain through sieve
  • mix the resulting liquid with ten times as much water

Not only against the fungi but also against other infestations of the plants, this broth is well suited. For example, he helps with spider mite infestation.

Tip: The decoction prevents the spread of the fungus and can also have a positive effect on the growth of the plants. The sulfur-containing ingredients of garlic and onions provide an antibiotic for the death of fungi.

Put antifungal plants around tree

Alternatively, around the endangered trees so-called anti-fungal plants can be used directly near the roots. Then the tree pulls on directly with the rainwater also the substances released by the plants used and can strengthen itself from inside against a fungal attack. These anti-fungal plants include:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • leek

Chives and spring onions are also suitable. However, it is better for a fairly large tree, here also larger tubers that excrete more sulfur-containing ingredients against a fungus.

Tip: All tuber spice plants can be used to prevent the shotgun disease. This also has the side effect that always fresh herbs are available in the kitchen. Because of course, these plants may also be harvested regularly.

Nettle or horsetail

Also very helpful to fight the fungus on the tree and to strengthen it at the same time, is a Sud also Horsetail or stinging nettles. These plants grow everywhere in the wild and can therefore be collected well. If you have a bed in the garden, you can cultivate the field horsetail or stinging nettle in order to use it as a fertilizer or tonic for the plants. The broth is prepared as follows:

  • 500 grams of field horsetails or stinging nettles
  • to five liters of water
  • Leave plants in cold water for three hours
  • then bring the mixture to a boil for 30 minutes
  • let cool and pass through a sieve
  • in case of heavy infestation, spray undiluted
  • every two weeks
  • Spray diluted every four weeks for prevention
  • mix three parts of broth and seven parts of water

Field horsetail is particularly well suited for spraying before flowering, to ensure the subsequent harvesting: apply nettle slush

Tip: If you work with the stinging nettles, you should always wear gloves when they are fresh.

Horseradish Sud

A horseradish brew can, like the onion-garlic brew, also be used as a prevention or as a fight against the shotgun disease. However, it is important for any home remedy that is used, that the affected areas on the tree were previously thoroughly removed. The horseradish brew is quite simple to make:

  • use fresh, coarsely chopped horseradish
  • 150 grams to five liters of water
  • Pour the horseradish over the boiling water
  • pull for ten minutes
  • sift and let cool

Sprinkle the tree regularly with infestation every few days with the broth. If a preventative approach is used, it is sufficient to spray the tree every two weeks in the spring, then every four weeks in the dry summer.

Yarrow Sud

The common yarrow grows on the edges of the forest and on dirt roads. Here, the plant can be collected on walks and used for use against the shotgun disease on the trees in their own garden. The yarrow broth is prepared as follows:

  • use dried yarrow
  • to dry the freshly picked plants
  • hang it up in a warm place as a bouquet
  • one liter of boiled water to 20 grams of dried yarrow
  • Let the plant soak for about ten minutes
  • pass through sieve
  • let cool and spray on
  • diluted also suitable for prevention

Tip: When collecting yarrow, make sure that it is not confused with the poisonous giant hogweed. Because both have a similar appearance, especially in the white flower umbels. Also with the equally poisonous spotted hemlock there is a likelihood of confusion here. Both poisonous plants, however, are higher than the common yarrow, which grows quite small.

Brush the trunk with clay

Since the fungi responsible for the shotgun disease preferably overwinter in the bark of the infested tree, the stems may also be coated with loam or, alternatively, alumina. So the mushrooms can not spread their spores, which get stuck in the clay. This method should be done as follows:

  • Clay clay or loam
  • Powder for this is commercially available
  • Blend the mixture on the stem in March and August
  • can also be used preventively
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