Do tar spots spell long-term damage for maples?
Issue: A reader noticed that the maple trees in Wauwatosa are losing their leaves early. He also has noticed that the leaves are covered in black or brown spots, known as tar spots. He wants to know if this is harmful to the tree, and whether the leaves will be normal next year.
Status: Ken Walbrant, superintendent of parks and forestry, said the leaves are dropping due to the tar spots and the drought.
Tar spots are a fungal disease that can cause leaves to drop. This is not fatal to the tree and will not damage next year's leaves, he said.
"We got the worst of both worlds this year because we had a long, wet spring, which stimulated the fungal disease, and then we had a drought on top of it," Walbrant said.
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