What Are These Brown & Black Spots On My Maple Leaves?

Unknown spots on our tree’s leaves can be a source of concern for the tree’s overall health. If your tree is experiencing brown and/or black spots on the leaves of your maple trees, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your tree is in trouble.

Up Next: Tree Care 101: Preventive & Curative Treatments

Here’s what you should know about those black and/or brown spots on the leaves of your maple tree:

It Could Be Maple Tar Spot Disease

The presence of black or brown spots on your maple tree leaves could be a fungal disease called maple tar spot, or fungal tar spot. This can be caused by a few different types of fungi that overwinter on infected leaves that have fallen to the ground. This infection is called tar spot because the spots closely resemble spots of tar on leaf surfaces.

Symptoms Of Maple Tar Spot Disease

The main symptom of maple tar spot is the dark spots on foliage that can be either black, brown, or tan that can show up in mid-June. A heavy infection is unsightly and can cause early leaf drop. Spots start off as small, pale yellow spots before intensifying and darkening.

Treating Maple Tar Spot Disease

Maple tar spot is mostly a cosmetic disease and alone it is rarely enough to threaten the health of the tree. To prevent tar spot disease, avoid overhead watering during prolonged wet periods, as this is the perfect environment for tar spot to spread. Infected leaves should be raked up and destroyed and the lawn equipment used sanitized.

Rule Out Other Causes With Hansen’s ISA-Certified Arborists

Before treating your trees for maple tar spot, be sure to rule out other possible conditions like Anthracnose and Jumping oak gall. An ISA-certified arborist at Hansen’s Tree Service will come to your home to inspect your trees and diagnose the problem.

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