Foliaged focal points in our yards, trees are often so tall and strong looking that they seem indestructible. But this is not the case. Like all living things, they are susceptible to disease. A common tree disease in Ohio, as well as other parts of the eastern United States, anthracnose harms the health of these large landmarks in our landscapes. Find out more now.

What Is Anthracnose?

Anthracnose is a broad term for illnesses caused by a variety of fungi. This destructive disease often develops in damp weather during the spring and thrives in moist conditions. The malignant fungal spores are spread by wind, rain, and insects, affecting plants, shrubs, and vegetables, as well as trees. Spotted leaves, sparse foliage, and branch dieback are all characteristics of anthracnose. While the disease itself won’t cause permanent damage or death, the symptoms weaken the tree and make it easy for pests or more deadly diseases to destroy it.

Signs and Symptoms

A wide range of symptoms makes anthracnose difficult to identify. Symptoms first appear as yellowish to brownish irregular spots sometimes located close to edges of leaves or the veins. As the disease spreads, the spots darken and expand to cover the majority of the leaf, and can even take on a scorched appearance. Also, look for curled or distorted leaves. Symptoms are often misidentified as heavy insect feeding. More serious symptoms include premature leaf drop, cankers, and branch dieback.

Prevention and Management of Anthracnose: A Common Tree Disease

Anthracnose thrives in damp environments, so be sure never to overwater. Skip watering when the weather calls for rain. When planting new trees, pick disease-resistant varieties. For instance, white oak is very susceptible to anthracnose, while red oak is more resistant. Plant new trees in well-drained soils. Never compost infected leaves. Instead, destroy them properly. Always clean pruners or shears after cutting away diseased branches. Most importantly, learn to identify a common tree disease like anthracnose early, before it spreads.

We Can Help

Being able to identify a common tree disease before major damage or spreading occurs helps you keep your landscape healthy and makes it easier to maintain. If you suspect that a tree is infected with a serious disease, or if you are uncertain, call in a professional right away. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at 419-529-5296 and we’ll help you keep your trees healthy and beautiful for years to come.