Since the fungus produces most of its infectious spores in autumn and winter, ideally carry out routine pruning of susceptible plants in summer. Not only are there fewer spores at this season but pruning wounds, the main point of entry for the spores, heal more quickly.
Where silver leaf develops the affected branch should be removed as soon as possible, certainly before the fungal fruiting bodies appear. The branch should be cut off, where possible, at a point 10-15cm (4-6in) beyond the area where the staining in the internal tissues ceases. Cutting equipment should be disinfected regularly. Dispose of the pruned material immediately, as fruiting bodies will still form if it is left lying around.
We no longer recommend binding, wrapping or painting pruning cuts as standard practice; the best thing is to let them heal naturally. However, where silver leaf is a recurring problem, painting wounds of susceptible trees might be the less harmful option.
Laburnum, poplar, prunus and rhododendron are examples of susceptible plants where protective wound paints such as Growing Success Prune and Seal, Bayer Garden Arbrex Seal and Heal or Vitax Medo might be worthwhile.