A fungal disease that infects sycamore trees in the United States, sycamore anthracnose (Gnomonia leptostyla) is seldom fatal but disfigures and weakens the tree, making it a likely target for other deadly diseases or damaging pests.
Signs and Symptoms of Sycamore Anthracnose
Infecting the vascular system of a tree, this fungal disease attacks buds and twigs, leaving behind groups of dead or dying twigs and small branches. Sycamore anthracnose spreads from an infected tree to healthy trees when its fungal spores are transported by the wind.
Signs that a sycamore tree is suffering from this disease:
- Leaf blight or defoliation early in the summer.
- Twisted or gnarled branches or twigs.
- Formations of dead or dying twigs and small branches called witches brooms.
- Lesions on leaves that are black or brown in color.
- Sunken cankers on younger twigs or small branches.
Treatment and Prevention of Sycamore Anthracnose
The good news is that although your sycamore tree may appear to be dying, it will most likely be able to get better on its own. However, since its weakened state invites other deadly diseases or damaging pests, you’ll want to nip the disease in the bud. Here are some tips to help manage the situation:
- Properly care for your tree by keeping it watered and well-fed if necessary. During unusually dry winter months, water trees every two weeks.
- Be sure to clean up fallen leaves and twigs from infected trees and dispose of them properly so the fungus won’t spread to healthy trees.
- Cut off dead twigs and branches if you can reach them. Make sure to disinfect the shears before using them again so the disease won’t spread.
- Use preventive fungicides when the tree begins to sprout new leaves. Leaves that are already infected won’t respond. Annual treatments may be required. Call in a professional for larger trees.
- Try a hardier species. Since the disease typically attacks American sycamore trees, try planting a London plane tree or an Oriental plane tree, which are usually resistant to sycamore anthracnose.
- Call an arborist, or tree expert, to help you diagnose and treat the disease.
Contact Elite Tree Care today at 610-935-2279 and let our expertise help you enjoy your landscape to the fullest.
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