Oak Leaf Blister

Encyclopedia Article

Image of Oak Leaf Blister
Oak leaf blister 

Overview of oak leaf blister

Oak leaf blister is common in spring when cool, wet weather conditions occur. This disease can affect all oak species but red oaks can be more susceptible to infection.

Signs and symptoms oak leaf blister  

Affected trees develop light green, circular, raised areas on the upper leaf surface. These blisters can grow up to one-third to one-half inch, and many blisters can appear on the same leaf. As leaves expand, lesions can turn yellow or brown and may have a grayish color on the underside of the leaf. Severe infections can cause yellowing of the leaf, leaf curling, and early defoliation. Moreover, symptoms can be worse in young tissues but infections are less severe in mature leaves.

Type of Sample Needed for Diagnosis and Confirmation

The Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic can help you to investigate and confirm if you plant has this disease. Please see our website for current forms, fees, and instructions on collecting and packing samples. Contact information for each states diagnostic laboratory for U.S. residents.  If your sample is from outside of Iowa please do not submit it to the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic without contacting us

Image of Oak Leaf Blister
Oak leaf blister 

Management of oak leaf blister 

If this description sounds familiar and you've seen it on your oaks, there's no need to panic. Oak leaf blister might make trees look sick, but this disease will not impact the overall health of trees. There is no need to spray or treat your trees. Instead, promote general tree health by adequate watering and fertilization. Vigorous trees will be less prone to severe oak leaf blister infections.