Take-All Root Rot

by | Sep 6, 2019 | General Environmental

Take-All Root Rot (TARR) will be most prevalent during periods of prolonged rainfall such as summer to early fall months when Florida receives the majority of its annual rainfall.  The disease affects St. Augustinegrass by attacking the roots and stolons, and it can cause significant damage if it is left untreated. Since St. Augustinegrass is the most commonly used turfgrass species on Florida homes it is imperative to properly diagnosis this disease and develop a treatment plan accordingly to prevent turf loss.  TARR can also be observed on Bermudagrass which is widely used on golf courses, community entrances, common areas and clubhouses.  


Take-all Root Rot occurs naturally in the soil in Florida.  Because TARR is a root disease, it does not attack the leaf tissue (blades), but will prevent the turfgrass from taking up water or nutrients from the soil causing the leaf tissue to develop a chlorotic appearance.  The blades will appear yellow or light green, but by this time, TARR has been active on the root system for up to three weeks possibly longer, and can progress into patches of thinning or dead grass if not treated timely.  Disease development will persist, especially when there are favorable conditions such as excessive soil moisture content.            

Symptom photos   

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Photo Credit: University of Florida – St. Augustinegrass roots rotted due to TARR


Reducing or alleviating unnecessary stress to the turfgrass by following these recommended maintenance practices will help promote a healthier lawn. 

  • When possible, avoid removing more than 1/3 of the leaf blade during mowing events (could be difficult during rainy season due to excessive growth of the grass)
  • Reducing irrigation frequencies and duration when soil moisture content is saturated
  • Applying equal amounts of nitrogen and potassium nutrients in slow release forms (when permitted)

Mainscape utilizes integrated pest management (IPM) to scout and treat areas of TARR before they reach damaging levels.  Once TARR areas have been identified, our IPM Specialists have been trained to apply the most effective products along with key nutrients to help the grass recover.  The Mainscape management team also proactively scouts for areas of TARR during their property evaluations and will create a customer service request (CSR) to ensure areas have been documented for treatment.  Multiple applications may be necessary depending on severity. Follow-up treatments are performed 60 days after the initial treatment and in most cases this will effectively suppress Take-all Root Rot.  

Severe damage photos 

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Do you have questions? For over 30 years, Mainscape has provided innovative, award-winning landscape services to communities, corporations and military bases throughout the United States. Our specialists are the best in the field, and we’re ready to help you take your property to the next level!