Arborcare-Arborscape, Inc. 2015
What is sycamore anthracnose?
Anthracnose is a fungus caused by Apiognomonia quercina on oak trees and Gnomonia leptostyla on sycamores, the 2 most common trees to have anthracnose problems in our area. Like other fungi, this normally infects in the trees during cool, wet springs, especially when the moisture is prolonged.
The signs of the fungus begin with blotches on the leaves. These typically appear along the midrib and main veins of the leaf. These turn to larger tan to brown spots with some leaf disfigurement sometimes happening around the area of the spots.
On sycamores the spores of the fungus begin by infecting the enlarging buds and shoots of the early spring. At the spring bud break, scorching and wilting of new shoots and leaves may occur. Fully grown leaves show elongated tan to brown lesions parallel with midribs and veins. The new shoots will often wilt and turn brown just after they start to develop. As the leaves mature they tend to be more resistant and the infection spreads less, although there may be some premature leaf drop if the infection is bad. The fungus itself can sometimes be seen as tiny black spots on the undersides of the leaves. As infections worsen from one year to the next if left untreated it can sometimes spread into the smaller twigs and cause twig dieback. Abnormal growths of twigs called witches brooms sometimes become evident if the twig dieback becomes severe.
We offer preventative spring sprays to help reduce the infection if known in advance. Sometimes a fall spray is recommended if spring sprays were not performed to help suppress the number of present fungus spores for the following year. For larger sycamores trunk injections are often recommended, especially if access or size makes spraying difficult.
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