Maple tree half green half dead

Asked October 24, 2017, 10:49 AM EDT

ALL maple trees in Salem MA area seem to be having the same problem, black spots on leaves that then dry and fall off since july, it's almost halloween and we should be starting with red, orange, and yellow, but half the leaves on the trees are just dead and crunchy. Green and brown. Last year I noticed, but this year it's just AWFUL. I've done a bit of research and I'm guessing my question really is- since my entire city is infected, what's the longterm expectation? Tar fungus will eventually die off, or kill all the maples? Or well just have naked trees in August and no foliage Leaf peeping?

Massachusetts trees and shrubs

1 Response


Tar spot fungus is an annual occurrence, more common in wetter years. This year there is a lot of it around. Next year if the weather is drier, there will be less. Tar spot fungus is mostly cosmetic, not causing long term damage to the tree.
There are other leaf fungi active this year also, many causing the crispy leaves and early dropping. If we have the same moist summer next year, expect the same disease results. Only time will tell what the weather will bring.
The trees may be under stress from two years of drought, then fungal disease this year. Some will succumb, with the stronger ones surviving.

Carol Quish