? Tar disease

Asked June 13, 2020, 8:25 PM EDT

I have a sugar maple tree showing signs of illness. Leaves with holes. Leaves falling off in clumps. Leaves with medium size black spots. Leaves look wilted. Tree 30 years old + -.

I think I found my answer. Looking again today I found the last picture. I have more pictures of leaf damage and black spots. Do gypsy moth eat maples too? Who will spray and pay for that if necessary?

Roscommon County Michigan

1 Response

Yes, gypsy moth caterpillars can attack maples, as well as hundreds of other tree species. You've raised a number of other issues here and leaf diseases such as anthracnose and tar spot have been prevalent after what was a wet spring in much of Michigan. Trees under stress for any reason are more likely to be attacked by insects and/or disease, or both. Leaf fungal diseases, while they can make the tree look ugly, generally do threaten long term tree health. Gypsy moth caterpillars are out now and you can read more here: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/gypsy-moth-outbreaks-in-michigan

You may well have other issues going on in your tree as well. Anthracnose has been documented numerously this spring. Read more here: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/maple-anthracnose

Tar spot as well: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/black_polka_dots_on_maple_tar_spot

The professional to contact when all of the above become too much for you is a
Certified Arborist, one who specializes in these matters. Find one or more Certified Arborists in your zip code at www.treesaregood.org Go to the Find an Arborist tab. Arborist evaluations are not expensive and where you can learn exactly what is going on in your tree.

Good luck!