Gail Ruhl, Sr. Plant Disease Diagnostician, Purdue
If your lawn is carpeted with leaves from your
Sycamore tree, do not despair! The tree is not dying - just experiencing
a temporary set-back from infection by a fungal disease known as
Anthracnose is the common name for a type
of leaf spot and canker disease caused by certain kinds of fungi.
Anthracnose diseases affect many trees, but are particularly prevalent
on white oak, ash, maple, walnut and sycamore. Each species of
tree is infected by a different species of fungus, thus the fungus
does not spread from oak to maple or maple to ash or ash to sycamore.
A different fungal species is also responsible for dogwood anthracnose.
Symptoms are especially severe in years with cool,
wet spring weather, such as that which we are currently experiencing!
The symptoms will vary depending on the type of tree and the stage
of plant development at the time of infection: leaf spots or blotches;
twig dieback and wilting; and browning or death of emerging leaves
are all possible.
Although premature leaf drop often occurs with
anthracnose diseases, most of the trees infected with anthracnose
usually show good resilience and refoliation, and are not permanently
damaged by this early season fungal blight.
For more information
refer to Anthracnose
of Shade Trees - BP-9-W, Dogwood
Anthracnose - BP-48 and Leaf