How to Identify and Treat Fall Tree Fungus

How to Identify and Treat Fall Tree Fungus

The cool breeze coupled with fresh, crisp apples and changing leaves can only mean one thing: 

Autumn has arrived. Beautiful, isn’t it?

While you’re out enjoying the brisk weather, pause and admire your tree leaves.

Look closely at those dazzling colors to make sure a danger isn’t lurking behind the surface. 

If you see an unusual mark or color on leaves, it could be a tree fungus. By identifying tree fungus early, you can seek timely treatment and save your tree. 

Below are the most common signs of tree fungus.

Mangled, curling leaves with brown spots along the veins.

If your tree is exhibiting these symptoms, anthracnose may be affecting your tree. Answer these three questions:

  1. Is your tree an ash, maple, oak, sycamore, or dogwood?

  2. Did your area have an especially cool, moist spring and summer?

  3. Are your leaves falling earlier than usual, causing a thinner tree canopy?

If you answered yes to #1 and either #2 or #3, get a second opinion from your local tree doctor. They can treat your tree with a foliar fungicide to prevent future infections. 

Leaves with olive-green spots that later become pale and fall prematurely.

Answer these simple questions to determine if your tree has apple scab:

  1. Do you have a crabapple, apple, mountain ash, pear, or Cotoneaster tree?

  2. Is the tree’s fruit covered in coarse, blotchy spots?

  3. Is there less fruit than usual? Apple scab infects flowers in spring, causing them to drop early.

If you answered yes to #1 and either #2 or #3, seek help from a certified arborist. Apple scab can be treated with a fungicide spray. Also, collect and compost infected leaves and fruit to avoid further infection. 

White or gray spots on contorted leaves.

If you see light-colored, chalky spots, your tree has powdery mildew.

Contact your local Davey Tree office for help. Infected branches can be pruned and a fungicide applied to combat the fungus.


Need an update on whether your tree fungus is cause for concern?
Schedule a free Davey Tree consultation today to get the answer.

  • The Tree Doctor June 21, 2016 >Hi there, Linda. Thanks for reaching out to Davey. We've passed along your question to our arborists in Greensboro, NC! If you'd like to reach out directly, you can also give them a call at 336.554.7865 or fill out this form: http://www.davey.com/local-offices/triad-tree-service-and-lawn-service/#main-form. Either way, you should hear from us soon, Linda. We hope we can help pinpoint what's wrong with your Japanese maple.
  • linda west June 12, 2016 >To Billy Matthews, Greensboro NC My Japanese maple looks really sick and not full as usual. Leafs fell a lot and they are all spotted. Is this because we received so much rain the past several weeks/months. What do I need to do? Can you please give me a call. Thanks Linda 336-288-8516
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