Anthracnose is a fungi that infects the stems, branches, leaves and fruits of some deciduous trees including sycamore, ash, maple, oak and privet. Cool, wet or moist conditions tend to make outbreaks more severe.
Leaf infections are identified by discolored, blotchy lesions coming from leaf veins. Leaf drop or defoliation can take place in the spring and may lead to second leafing out in early summer season. Anthracnose attacks buds, often causing their death. The form of the tree may be disfigured by twig dieback. Repeated infestations of the fungi can cause poor tree health including the death of branches, cold weather damage and a likelihood of borer attack. Loss of leaves, especially if repeated, can reduce the ability of the tree to survive.
Despite all these issues, you can reduce the spread of the fungi by removing infected debris and material, along with pruning infected parts of the tree. Additionally, avoid excessive watering and attempt to prevent water from remaining on leaves. Even if the infestation is severe enough to threaten the health of the entire tree, effective treatments can provide positive control. Treatments must start in very early spring if the tree is infected. If you think your tree(s) may be dealing with leaf fungus, reach out to schedule your evaluation now!