All shade and ornamental trees are attacked by one or more fungi causing scattered, definite spots on the leaves in various shapes and patterns. These spots become more visible from late June through August, and this is why you need to keep a close eye on your trees this summer. Tree foliage problems can be triggered by a great number of environmental factors, but the leaf spot disease is one of the most dangerous culprits you need to control. While a few spots here and there don’t pose a serious threat, leaf spot diseases starting early in the growing season can lead to premature defoliation. Today, our tree care Mendota IL specialists are here to offer you some information and advice on the leaf spot disease.

What is the Leaf Spot Disease?

This is an infection caused by fungi staying dormant on dead leaves which infiltrate the growing leaves’ bodies and structures, expanding and thus damaging the leaves. The destruction is visible with the naked eye – you will see spots or blotches on the leaves’ surface that look brown, black, tan or reddish. These necrotic areas can also have red edges.

The peak of the infection is represented by partial to complete shade and ornamental trees’ defoliation. While such a problem can be sometimes caused by draught, heavy pest attacks, pollution, or severe soil problems, leaf spot disease is independent from these factors.

Our tree service Mendota IL specialists suggest you start inspecting your trees in early spring. However, it is not too late to perform thorough inspections of the foliage during the season as well. The initial tiny spots can enlarge and cause limitless damages. Leaf spots commonly increase in number and size in late summer and early autumn as the leaves begin to get old – this is why regular control and intervention are mandatory.

Another huge problem with leaf spot disease is that if it occurs over two or more successive years, it can seriously weaken trees, reduce their growth, and increase their susceptibility to bark pests, winter injury, and other diseases.

What Can You Do against the Leaf Spot Disease?

The best treatment is prevention – this means the collection, storage, usage, and burning of dead, wet, diseased, fallen, or rotting leaves during spring, fall, and winter. However, if you catch the disease early on in summer, here are some methods our tree service Mendota IL specialists recommend:

  • Regular tree pruning to thin out large, dense crowns; you should remove all weak, dead, dry, diseases, and pest-infected branches, leaves, and twigs, and crossing / rubbing branches. Correct pruning promotes better air flow and stimulates healthy growth.
  • Spraying the trees with fungicides after the disease appears doesn’t solve the problem, unfortunately; this treatment will indeed lower down the risks and the severity of secondary infections, but it won’t heal the trees by eliminating the diseases once it had occurred.

Talk to your tree service Mendota IL experts about additional sprays that can be used if the infection already broke and other methods of controlling this disease.