Maple Tree fungus?

Asked June 2, 2016, 10:14 AM EDT

The maple trees on my property in Morrison County are losing leaves which are all turning black. What might it be, and what might I expect?

Morrison County Minnesota tree health maple trees

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Please check out the attached resources that may be helpful in diagnosing your tree problem. One possibility is a fungal infection called anthracnose. This disease was recently address by our Extension Educator, M. Grabowski and is pasted here for your benefit:

FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2016

Spring leaf drop and anthracnose

M. Grabowski, UMN Extension Educator

Fallen ash leaves infected with anthracnose.
M. Grabowski, UMN Extension

Lawns scattered with fallen tree leaves in spring and early summer often point to infection of shade trees by anthracnose. Many common shade trees can be infected with anthacnose including ash, oak, and maple. Anthracnose is caused by several different fungi. Each fungus infects a particular type of tree. The fungal pathogens that cause anthracnose infect young developing leaves during cool wet weather. Symptoms include dark brown to black water soaked spots on leaves, curled or cupped leaves, and leaf drop in spring and early summer.

There is no management needed for trees suffering from anthracnose. Although the disease can be somewhat unsightly, it is only a minor stress on the tree. As the weather becomes warm and dry, tree leaves are able to mature without infection. Once leaves are mature they are largely resistant to the anthracnose fungi. Even trees that have dropped many leaves due to infection will produce a new flush of leaves and recover with warm summer weather.

Read more here to learn about other common problems:
Thank you for contacting Extension.