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Rhytisma acerinum on maple leaf

The maple is, by far, the most iconic tree in Canada.

Its tall trunk, upright branches and distinctive leaves have come to represent our country as a whole, and all of the values and beliefs that Canadian hold dear. Keep the maples on your property healthy and beautiful by learning how to recognize and prevent the most common maple tree diseases with the help of the tips below.


Below are four of the most common diseases that plague maple trees, along with a few tips on how to recognize them and prevent further damage.

  • Anthracnose. This fungal infection causes leaves to turn brown. After some time, the leaves will die, as will twigs and branches. Spraying the tree with a fungicide rich in copper can help to control the spread of the fungus, but the best prevention is to plant tree varieties that are resistant to this type of infection, which is common in areas with a lot of wet weather.

  • Leaf scorch. This condition can result from a variety of different causes, including dry weather, high winds, heat, lack of water, soil contaminants, or infection by a fungus or bacteria. You can recognize leaf scorch by checking for patches of brown, dead areas on the leaves. The best way to prevent it is by improving the quality of the soil so it retains more water.

  • Phyllosticta leaf spot. Also known as purple eye, this disease is caused by a fungus. The spots start yellow with a purplish border, until a spore develops in the centre. The central spore allows the fungus to spread. The best way to prevent this fungus from taking over the whole tree is to remove any infected leaves and thoroughly rake up any fallen leaves at the end of the season to avoid reinfection in the spring.

  • Tar spot. This fungal infection begins as yellow spots on the surface of the leaf that eventually turn dark brown or black. The fungus is spread from tree to tree through the leaves that fall on the ground. The best way to prevent this infection from spreading is by removing any infected leaves, and then taking care to thoroughly rake and discard the leaves on the ground below.


For more information on how to provide your maples with the best possible care, connect with All Season Tree Service. We offer complete and comprehensive tree services to residential, commercial and municipal clients all over Edmonton and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to obtain a free estimate or to schedule a visit.


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