Walking to my garage this morning I happened to notice these yucky black spots on the fallen leaves from my maple tree.

What are they?

Is it the tree diseased?

Will it spread to the other trees around it?

It looks really gross.

According to Chicago Botanic, these spots are a fungus called "maple leaf tar spot, known scientifically as species of Rhytisma fungi."

Will it hurt my tree?

Gardening Know How says that "the fungus only attacks the leaves, leaving the rest of your maple tree alone."

Whew! That's a relief.

What can be done about it?

Because the fungus is spread by the wind blowing the spores around, totally eliminating it is impossible. Well that stinks.

However, the article says to prevent it from spreading I can start by raking up the leaves and either burning them or bagging them up for compost.

Also, it stated that your trees suffer from this every year, they are quite possibly in an area of heavy moisture.

A way to combat it is to grade the area to get rid of extra moisture and standing water.

Hmm... we have had a lot of rain this past spring and basically all summer so I'm wondering if this is the culprit?

I'm glad to know it isn't going to kill my beautiful maple tree. I love its shade in the spring and summer and of course its colors in the fall. I would hate to loose it from my yard.

If you see this on your trees leaves, now you know what it is and what to do about it.

As they say "the more you know, the more you grow." Knowledge is Power.

Ok. Enough of my after school PSA, continue on with your day.






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