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Got Nature? > Posts > Question: What is causing maple trees to have black spots?
January 14
Question: What is causing maple trees to have black spots?

Maple leaf with black spotsQ. We have several maple trees in our neighborhood afflicted with this black spot (see attached photo) last year. We're looking for information on cause, prevention, health risk factors (to the trees), treatment and long-term prognosis for the infected trees.

A. While I can't confirm a diagnosis from this photo alone, a fungal disease called tar spot would be a good guess. Tar spot is a common disease on silver maple and is primarily considered to be a cosmetic problem rather than a serious threat. The Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory has additional information on tar spot at

To confirm a diagnosis, you can bring a sample to your Purdue Extension office in your county. Find contact information at Or you may submit a sample directly to the PPDL. See for instruction.

More . . .

Purdue Agriculture Column News
Purdue Plant Pest and Diagnostic Lab

Writer: Rosie Lerner, Purdue Extension, Consumer Horticulturist

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