How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Air pollution

Air pollution damage is caused by mostly invisible gases, especially ozone and sulfur oxides. Typical air pollution damage includes browning on the underside or margins of leaves or other discoloring, and dead and prematurely dropping leaves or needles. Symptoms may develop soon after short-term exposure to high concentrations of air pollutants or after longer exposure to relatively lower pollution levels. Azalea, birch, fuchsia, pine, and sycamore are especially susceptible to injury.

Identification

Solutions

Provide proper cultural care and control other causes of stress to keep plants vigorous and increase their tolerance to pollution. Grow more plants because plants help in several ways to reduce air pollution. Particulates become trapped by foliage and are washed by precipitation from foliage to the soil. Gaseous air pollutants are absorbed by bark and taken into plants through leaf stomata. Plant tolerant species in areas where air quality is especially poor.

Yellowish patches on leaves caused by ozone
Yellowish patches on leaves caused by ozone

Tip burn and banding on pine needles
Tip burn and banding on pine needles


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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