Tattered Leaves

Oak leaf samples have been arriving in the Plant Disease Clinic showing symptoms of tatters. Tatters on hackberry has also been observed. Counties reporting tatters include Allamakee, Benton, Dubuque, Grundy, Johnson, Muscatine, and Poweshiek.

Damage from tatters appears at the time of leaf emergence. Affected leaves have reduced interveinal tissue, giving them a lacy or tattered appearance.

Tatters appears to be caused by damage to leaf tissue in the buds or as the buds begin to open. The cause of the damage has not been pinpointed, but may include factors such as cold temperature injury to young leaf tissue, insect feeding, or herbicides.

A new publication is available that discusses and pictures tatters. Free copies can be obtained from the USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area S PF, 1992 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul MN 55108. The bulletin can also be found here .

This article originally appeared in the May 26, 2000 issue, p. 61.

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