Japanse lilac tree loosing its leaves

Asked July 29, 2015, 9:47 AM EDT

I have a Japanese lilac tree which started to drop its leaves two weeks ago. It is regularly shedding its leaves. The remaining leaves look like they have brown to black spots on them, sometimes covering the whole leaf. The tree blossomed this spring and early summer, producing beautiful blooms. Is the tree dying or will it come back next spring? Is there something I should be doing now?

Stearns County Minnesota japanese lilac trees

4 Responses

This sounds like a fungal disease of some sort - most likely Anthracnose, but without some good quality photos of the affected leaves, branches and whole tree it is only a guess. Please send some photos and we will continue to try to diagnose your tree.

This looks like a bacterial leaf spot disease, probably either Ceresphora leaf spot, or

Pseudocercospora leaf spot. You would probably need a lab diagnosis to make sure:


In any case these diseases are more common when it's been particularly wet - either from lots of rain, or overhead sprinkling.

Here are a couple of links that will give you more information:http://extension.illinois.edu/hortanswers/detailProblem.cfm?PathogenID=52