Spots and blackening on young red bud tree

Asked November 2, 2018, 9:30 AM EDT

My young (about 2 years old) red bud tree finally started sprouting leaves and getting taller late last year. most recently, probably about the last 6 to 8 weeks, my red bud tree started to have spots and blackening on the leaves. It doesn't appear to be falling off but it's windy sometimes so i'm not 100% sure if it just gets blow away, for most part the leaves are in tact. I'm wondering if you think this is a possibly a fungus, or just something that happens around this season. since i haven't really gone through a real fall or winter with this tree yet, i don't know if this is normal for a red bud tree to start having blackening patches when it gets cold outside. The tree is surrounded in a few inches of mulch, and i would water it from time to time during the hot summer, but i have stopped watering since it's been rainy off an on. Can you help me figure out if the blackening is a natural occurrence for the season or something more like a fungus? pictures are attached. also a note that the last picture attached with the greener leaf surrounded by darker leaves, those set of leaves are new additions as in the last few months. my daughter had plucked it out and it regrew, i'm wondering if it remains green because it's still younger than the other leaves? I appreciate your help. Thank you.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

There are some minor leaf spots on the foliage. This can be common on the tree at the end of the season. No control is necessary. Simply rake up after the leaves fall and dispose in the trash. This will not affect the health of the tree next season and the tree should be fine. Monitor the new growth next season.

It would be helpful to remove the grass around the base of the tree out to the dripline. Mulch with several inches of mulch to conserve moisture, keep the weeds down, and to prevent lawn mower damage to the trunk. Keep the mulch away from the base of the trunk.