The wet spring conditions this year have favored the development of anthracnose on shade trees. Symptoms of anthracnose have been observed on white oak, ash, sycamore, and maple. The distortion and browning of leaf tissue have created some concern for observant tree owners. Anthracnose fungi also can cause early loss of leaves.
The ISU bulletin PM 1280, Anthracnose of Shade Trees, is a good source of information. Immediate management practices on established shades trees are not necessary. Trees will show recovery as flushes of growth occur later in the spring.
Images of anthracnose symptoms can be found on the Plant Disease Clinic Web site. Click on Special Feature or Plant Diseases.
This article originally appeared in the 5/23/2003 issue.