Wondering whether this 17-year-old American linden is diseased

Asked August 21, 2017, 11:15 AM EDT

Hello, Since the beginning of August, this tree has been losing leaves rapidly, and you can see from one of the photos that there is a significant accumulation of dried fallen leaves beneath the tree. I am wondering whether the spotting, thinning, and white marks on the leaves still on the branches are indicative of a problem. I cannot recall noticing any of these indicators before, except that I do remember that this tree has begun losing its leaves a little earlier each year. If it is of any interest, this tree was planted in 2000 in the same spot where the Montgomery County champion northern red oak, which collapsed in 1998, once stood on our property. If the attachments are not adequate I can take more photos for you. Thank you!!

Montgomery County Maryland

5 Responses

We viewed your photos. In general lindens can be susceptible to vertcillium wilt and anthracnose, a fungal disease. The tree does look thin. The middle photo shows a fungal disease called anthracnose on the foliage which can be common in wet spring weather. This can cause premature leaf drop. No control is necessary. Rake all fallen leaves to prevent overwintering spores. We do not recommend a chemical control. See our website http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/shade-tree-anthracnose-trees

See our website for more information on verticillium wilt. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/verticillium-wilt-trees-and-shrubs
You may want to contact several certified arborists for an onsite diagnosis regarding the health of the tree and the best way to proceed. They can take samples if need be. http://www.treesaregood.org/

Thank you very much!

I am the person who posted the original question. We are about to have a crew in to do a fall yard cleanup tomorrow and I am still not clear how to dispose of the leaves from this linden, and whether the act of raking them will spread the fungus. Thank you very much for your guidance.

The best thing to do with the leaves would be to rake them up and dispose of them in the trash. It is impossible to avoid the spread of fungal spores, but cleaning up the leaves as best as you can will remove the primary location where the fungal spores would overwinter.


Many thanks!