August sunshine usually means lush green trees, but that is not the case for many Norway Maple trees.
Black marks called tar spots are popping up on leaves of these trees. This is a fungus that eventually causes the leaves to turn brown and die.
The damp season was ripe conditions for tar spot growth.
“The tree can actually defoliate a little early. But it’s not particularly problematic,” said Rick Harper, an urban forestry professor from UMass Amherst. He said the tar spots do not compromise the overall health of the tree.
The clusters will open up again in the spring and leave the trees at risk of reinfection.
While tar spots are more of a cosmetic issue, rather than a health issue, but it does serve as a good reminder.
“We need to monitors our trees and shrubs. And if we have questions to contact a professional to help get an evaluation of the health of our plants,” said Harper.
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