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Red Thread

close up of red threadDescription: Red thread is a foliar disease that usually occurs on taller mown turfgrasses during spring and fall. The disease is often associated with malnourished, low quality, slow growing turf, but the effects of the disease are largely cosmetic. Red thread symptoms create an undesirable appearance, but crowns and roots are not infected, so plants are not killed and turf eventually will recover.

early symptoms of Red ThreadDamage: From a distance, red thread symptoms appear as circular patches of tan or pink turf about 4-8 inches in diameter. A pink web of fungal threads binds the leaves together. Look for pink, gelatinous fungal crusts projecting from the leaves to help identify this disease. Other diseases, including dollar spot, pink snow mold, and especially pink patch, have field patterns and symptoms that resemble red thread, and are active during similar environmental conditions. Red thread most commonly affects large Red Thread damageKentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue Outbreaks usually occur in low maintenance turf stands such as residential lawns, golf course roughs, and some low budget athletic fields. Red thread development is most common where turfgrass nutrition is poor and there are other factors that promote slow growing turf. Deficient nitrogen fertility levels can result in serious outbreaks. Disease development occurs over a relatively wide range of cool conditions (40-70° F),typically in the spring and fall, especiall during long evening dew periods. The red thread pathogen survives winter as sclerotia residing in the thatch and soil layers.

Control: Mow turf frequently and collect clippings to remove diseased portions of the leaves. Maintain adequate nitrogen and a balanced fertility. Reduce shade. Increase the air circulation to the turf's drying process. Irrigate turf deeply and as infrequently as possible.