Oak Tree Diseases – Spot Anthracnose

spot-anthracnoseWe are beginning a series on Oak Tree Diseases. This article is the first of several. We have seen an increase in tree problems, especially among the oak tree family, because of all the rain we’ve had and we want you to know what to look out for. Ready? Let’s go.

Spot Anthracnose comes from the fungus Elsinoe quercus (now that’s a mouthful). Infection by this fungus can cause small spots on the foliage of red oaks. It’s often seen on trees that grow in partial to full sun; it is rarely seen on trees growing in full shade. The spots are only on the upper surface of the leaf and are blackish-brown in color.

The defining factor of the spots of Spot Anthracnose is that the centers of the spots are lighter in color and are about 1 millimeter in diameter. Symptoms are usually visible in early June and increase in number until the middle of August. If you wait that long, the foliage becomes severely damaged and the foliage begins to all off. Defoliation will occur when the infection becomes severe. The tree will take on a pale yellow color and will not look healthy.

Although we don’t diagnose tree diseases at Austin Tree Service, you will probably want to call us if your tree shows signs of Spot Anthracnose. We can come out and perform some much-needed services to the tree.  Sanitation is important in the prevention and control of Spot Anthracnose. All diseased leaves need to be removed. Spraying is not usually required. Trees which have been severely damaged by Spot Anthracnose should have additional fertilizer added to stimulate new growth.

Our best advice is that as soon as you notice the brown spots to give us a call at 512-341-8888. Remember – we don’t diagnose tree diseases, but we can prune the tree of the diseased leaves and prevent it from spreading to the rest of the tree or making the trunk a pale yellow color. By then, your tree needs so much more work and, although we can do it, we’d prefer to catch your Spot Anthracnose early.

We’ve given you the signs to look out for. Now you have to watch your trees to keep them from getting too damaged from Spot Anthracnose. The best thing you can do to prevent the disease is to plant it in the correct location and make sure you care for it by watering it and giving it fertilizer.

We’ll have more about oak tree diseases in the coming weeks. If you ever notice a problem with your tree, call us. We can do our best to prune diseased leaves and branches and will remove trees that are too damaged by disease. Visit our website at http://www.keepaustingreen.com for more information on our services.