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June 29, 2016
Tulip Leaf Drop-No Cause For Alarm
Gail Ruhl, Sr. Plant Disease Diagnostician, Dept. of Botany & Plant Pathology, Purdue University
Premature yellowing and leaf drop observed on tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), also known as yellow poplar and tulip poplar. (Figures 1 and 2) are symptoms most likely related to root stress. Extended periods of hot, dry, weather in combination with various site stress factors, are likely contributing factors. An added symptom that frequently accompanies the leaf yellowing is the appearance of circular, black spots between the veins of the yellowing leaves (Figures 3 and 4). The black spots are often mistaken for a fungal leaf spot disease. Though alarming in appearance these symptoms do not usually affect long-term tree vigor or health.