Fungal disease afflicts trees


Q.I moved into a house with some large, healthy-looking shade trees. The leaves on the sycamores and maples are developing brown spots and some of the leaves seem to be curling and dying.

Does this sound like a disease? Is it serious?

A. You're observing the symptoms of a very common shade-tree disease - anthracnose. Spotting and curling occurs on the leaves of ash, oak, maple, sycamore, hickory and beech. This fungal disease is most severe during cool, wet springs.

Mature trees can recover from the infection and leaf loss without fungicide treatments. How-ever, if you have trees less than 3 years old that are severely infected, you should spray with a fungicide next spring when the leaves first unfurl. Raking up and disposing of fallen leaves also may help reduce the incidence of anthracnose in your landscape.

Garden tips are provided by the Home and Garden Information Center of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Maryland. For additional information on these questions, or if you have questions of your own, call the center's hot line at 800-342-2507 or visit its Web site at


In a recent story on bamboo, an incorrect number was given. The correct number for the New England Bamboo Company is (978)-546-3581. The Sun regrets the error.

Pub Date: 5/24/98

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