Maple Trees, Fungus, and Who to Call in Cheboygan

Asked July 8, 2020, 12:51 PM EDT

I have several large Maple trees that are exhibiting signs of disease. The have brown spots on the underside of the leaves and the leaves are starting to shrivel up. I've been trying to find an aborist that serves the Cheboygan area, but without any luck. I'd like to save these beautiful old trees, but need some advice/local expert. Nancy Henderson

Cheboygan County Michigan

7 Responses

Hi Nancy;
I will shift over to email b/c it would be helpful for you to send a photo of your issue. If I cannot identify the problem, you can certainly submit a photo to the MSU Diagnostics Dept.

I hope you can see the black/brown spots on the leaves. The last shot shows how it’s affected the canopy.

Thank you

Thanks for sending the photos here before I sent the email! From your first two photos, this looks like tar spot to me. Tar spot is actually more of a cosmetic problem, then a problem that can lead to decline of a tree, so your tree will likely be fine:,vary%20substantially%20year%20to%20year.

The issue on the top is probably something different b/c tar spot tarnishes the appearance of a leaf, but the leaf usually keeps its form. The top of the tree looks like leaves may have been eaten or grew poorly. It is hard to see b/c of the distance the photo was taken. Gypsy moth caterpillars were heavy this year and could have done some of the top defoliation, and sometimes trees have a bit of drought stress. Either way, the tree will rebound from either of those issues by regrowing those areas (it helps to water the soil under the tree canopy during times of drought. Feel free to continue the conversation here if needed or email me at

Thank you very much for the information. Do you know if there is anyone in the Cheboygan, MI area that can look at the trees? My pictures probably didn't fully show the extent of the damage on the leaves around the black spots. Several leaves have shriveled up. These two trees are fairly large and beautiful so I don't want to lose them.

Thanks again!
Nancy Henderson

Hi Nancy;
I do not know that area well enough to make a suggestion. But checking for a Certified Arborist at this site can help:

Thank you. That website is great!!

Thanks for the complement! We appreciate it. Good luck!