On Maples and Oaks, as well as a variety of other trees, the leaves will start developing brown or black, dried out patches or spots, usually starting along the veins. As the dried out spots start to expand, they can cover 25% to 100% of the leaf surface. Most of the leaves stay on the diseased tree and just appear damaged for the rest of the summer. Some years will be worse than others.
On Ash trees the result is quite different.
First scenario: The infected Ash trees 'leaf out' as they normally do in the spring, and then all of a sudden begin falling from the tree littering the ground as shown in the photo.
Second scenario: The fungus attacks the early spring buds, preventing them from opening at all until mid-May, or even as late as June!
On Sycamore trees delayed leafing occurs. Interestingly, Sycamores seem to lose all of their leaves when Anthracnose hits them, except for a group of leaves at the very top of the tree that seems to be totally unaffected.
Anthracnose is a fungal condition that affects a wide variety of trees and shrubs.
It is important to be patient and not have the tree removed thinking that it is dying or dead! The tree will re-foliate itself with a brand new crop of leaves as the summer progresses. This stresses the tree tremendously, as it is difficult for a tree to gather the energy to create one set of leaves, let alone two.
We recommend professional Root Fertilization. A healthy tree is better able to deal with negative environmental factors when they do occur. Anthracnose weakens trees, and root fertilization is the perfect way to strengthen them.
Note: Although there are products available to treat Anthracnose, we do not recommend them. In the case of leaf drop or failing to leaf on time, we feel that if a tree only suffers from this situation once every three or four years, on average, it’s not worth treating on a yearly basis. Why incur a yearly expense for something that may not even be an issue? In cases where leaves have brown or black spots as a results of Anthracnose, but remain on the tree, we also feel that this situation is not severe enough to require yearly treatment.