Pest Alert – Leaf Spot Diseases on Trees and Shrubs

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oak leaf spot

Oaks, cherries, and other trees and shrubs have been observed losing leaves recently in Henderson County. Cool and wet weather favors the development of leaf spot diseases. Fungal leaf spots can make trees unattractive and cause leaves to fall off trees and shrubs.

Why do leaves fall off of trees and shrubs? Fungal leaf spots cause leaf drop by feeding on the leaves. The tree senses this attack and drops the infested leaves as a defensive measure.

Although trees and shrubs lose leaves, it is actually a fairly minor problem on established plants. In fact, trees are beginning the slow shutdown of the leaves for the fall season already. Plant leaves have already done most of their work for the season for the tree so they are expendable.

Caused by various fungi, typical leaf spot symptoms appear as brown spots on affected leaves. These spots can merge, causing browning of the leaves. The leaves sometimes appear as if they have been scorched. With time, diseased leaves may curl and drop from the tree.

With fungal leaf spots, generally, there is nothing to be concerned about. The tree or shrub will be fine next year.

fungal leaf spot Laurel leaf spot Maple leaf spot Leaf spotcherry early leaf drop