Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Maple tree problem

Our entire maple tree is covered with these ugly black spots. I don't know what they are... fungus because of all the wet weather or something? I haven't done any researching about it yet. I just hope there's no permanent damage and that the tree is okay next year.

Anybody else's trees look like this?

Update: Okay, I quit being so lazy and decided to do a little research to see if I could find out what these leaf spots are. Here's what I found on a University of Illinois forum in a post from 1998:

The black spots are very likely what plant pathologists call "tar spot," a disease caused by a leaf-invading fungus. The disease specifically infects Norway Maples trees, and has reached an epidemic in many areas, with just about every tree in the area being afflicted. Spraying the tree with a fungicide is rather impractical, so the best way to manage the disease is through cultural practices. The fungus, as most do, thrives under moist conditions, so all attempts to control it should be aimed at reducing moisture in and around the tree, and reducing the presense of the sporulating pathogen itself. Rake up the leaves each fall, and have all dead, dying, and diseased branches in the tree removed by a tree professional. You may want to have the tree's canopy thinned somewhat to allow more air to circulate within the canopy to further reduce the moisture. Tar spot doesn't have a grave effect on the tree's health since it develops after the leaves are fully developed and have had time to perform their duty of supplying the tree's energy resourses for the winter. Even after performing all the above practices, signs of the disease may still remain, since tar spot is well known to be difficult to control. You'll probably have to learn to live with it knowing you'll have done all you could do practically.

I also read similar information at other places online. I think I'll just "learn to live with it".

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