My question: Is this a fungus and what can I do to prevent it from killing my tree?

Asked May 14, 2019, 12:32 PM EDT

Hi, I just recently purchased a acer saccharin super sweet tree from Behnke nursery.I planted in my yard in hyattsville md. It was doing great for about 2 weeks. Then it started developing some type of fungus on the leaves on the lower part of the tree. After several more weeks now the fungus has started on the upper parts. Please advise me on what I need to do. This tree represents a very important milestone in my family. Thanks for your help.

Prince George's County Maryland

3 Responses

This does not look like a disease. This looks like physical damage to the foliage. It may have been rough handling during planting. If it was windy, the foliage may have rubbed against the wire cage. At this point, the tree needs all the leaves it can get to carry on photosynthesis and produce carbohydrates for the root system. It would be okay to remove some of the badly battered leaves.

Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the trunk. Check the soil moisture weekly. Soil that is moist or damp to the touch is fine. If the soil begins to dry out, water the plant thoroughly. Do not overwater.
Monitor the growth of the tree and send us additional photos if need be.


Hi Marian,
Thanks for the prompt reply and a better understanding of the what the causes may be. Is there anything we can do now other than the mulching and watering? Will the tree die
from this condition or is something we have to work through.
Thanks again ,you are a wonderful resource.

There is nothing that you need to do other than what is outlined above. The tree shouldn't die from having some damaged leaves. It will continue to establish roots and there are other leaves that are just fine in your photo.
Keep an eye on it, especially if we stop getting rain. It can take 18 months for a tree to establish well.
Make sure too that the tree is not planted too deeply. It should be the same depth as it was in the pot, and any circling roots should have been straightened out.
People often mistakenly plant too deeply or mulch too deeply- notable when the trunk goes straight into the ground like a telephone pole instead of gently flaring where the trunk meets the root area.