What Causes Black Spots on Tree Leaves?

What causes black spots on tree leaves, and should you worry about them? In this article, Backridge Tree Service, your reliable arborist in Fort Walton Beach, FL, explains more about leaf spots. 

What Can You Expect with Spots on Leaves? 

When caring for trees, you may feel distressed if the leaves turn yellow or develop brown or black spots. Don’t panic; it’s perfectly natural for tree leaves to experience some discoloration over time. 

It’s when this is a prevalent problem across multiple leaves that you should start to worry.  The spots may range in color from a light tan to pitch black and may look like concentric rings. Some may look like a cluster of dots, while others have an irregular shape. 

What Causes the Spots? 

Black spots on tree leaves may be due to damage or disease. In the latter case, the infection spreads to other leaves relatively quickly. The mark may also grow over time. 

You’ll most likely see this issue in spring and summer or during rainy weather. Fungal spores spread quickly and germinate due to the moisture. Poor air circulation also contributes to black spots on trees. 

How to Deal with These Marks

You have several options available to deal with these marks. If you’re unsure about whether the spots are due to a disease, consult a professional as soon as possible. Here are your options. 

Ignore the Issue

We usually recommend dealing with it quickly, but you can also give it a week or two to see how things progress. In some cases, it’s possible for the tree to heal itself without intervention. 

Remove the Damaged Area

If possible, dispose of the leaves and perhaps even the twigs they’re on. This can limit the infection and prevent it from spreading. 

Keep the Leaves Dry

Use soaker hoses and only water the roots to avoid spreading the spores. You can also consider pruning the tree if the branches are too crowded. 

Support the Tree’s Health

Trees are resilient and can lose some leaves without extensive damage. It’s only when defoliation occurs for two to three years in a row that the tree can’t bounce back. Check the soil for mineral deficiencies and correct any that you find. 

Apply a Fungicide

Fungicides are usually the best way to root out disease if you catch it early enough. You can proactively treat susceptible trees before they bud in the spring. You’ll then need to respray every ten to 14 days. 

Remove the Tree

While this is a measure of last resort, we might recommend it if the tree is too far gone. It may also be the best way to prevent a pernicious infection from spreading. We recommend planting something that is disease-resistant in the future. 

Contact Us for Expert Advice

Now that you have a better idea about what causes black spots on tree leaves, do you have any other questions, like what to do about yellow leaves on palm trees? Contact Backridge Tree Service at (850) 240-2829 for the right solution today!

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