I live only a few yards above the little Miami River a couple miles North of...

Asked May 22, 2020, 8:40 PM EDT

I live only a few yards above the little Miami River a couple miles North of Milford. In my backyard is a very tall Sycamore tree. My deck is covered with small, dead leaves about 1 1/4" across. see photo attached. Is it normal for this tree to be dropping dead leaves this time of year?

Clermont County Ohio

1 Response

Although there are several diseases that can affect sycamores at this time of year, I am guessing that those little leaves were the first ones to appear in the spring this year. And I believe that you may have had the same record low temperatures both at the end of April and the second week in May. I am in central Ohio, and our temperature dropped to 28 degrees on both occasions. Since then I've noticed leaf drop on a variety of trees and shrubs. You don't say, but I expect that your tree may have sent out new leaves by now.

In case that is not the reason, I am sending along a couple links to fact sheets about sycamore diseases. Even if the leaf drop is caused by something like anthracnose, the fact sheet from Iowa State gives some reassuring information: https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/faq/why-my-sycamore-tree-dropping-its-leaves

Clemson's Extension Service has a detailed fact sheet with photos of various diseases and their remedies: https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/sycamore-diseases-insect-pests/

If the problem persists, or you think the tree needs professional attention, you should consult with a certified arborist. Here is how to locate one near you: https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist

Best of luck.