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. Bacterial leaf scorch can also be a problem. It has large lobed maple-like leaves. Sycamore anthracnose is a fungal disease that can cause leaf drop, twig dieback, cankers and the sudden death of more than 90% of a tree’s new shoot growth. Infected leaves often curl and eventually fall, littering the ground. Each spring, we see spotting and blighting of the leaves, buds, and sometimes stems of these trees. In the average central Illinois river bottom environment, you won’t have to go far to find this tree. Although it detracts from ornamental appeal, it rarely causes tree fatality and most species are able to coexist with the fungi. From what we see these trees should re-foliate this year. Each spring, anthracnose spores infect newly forming sycamore leaves causing brown or black blotches along leaf veins. Anthracnose fungi need water to spread and infect, so the disease is more prevalent during wet, cold springs. Temperature and rainfall significantly impact the overall severity of this disease. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful, contrasting bark that remains more visible in the absence of leaves with the hope that sycamores will fare well next spring and bark will be concealed by a thick canopy in June. Anthracnose can affect the buds of a tree early in the season before it has grown any leaves. Sycamore is a fast-growing deciduous tree reaching 30 to 40 feet tall. Cool and wet spring weather promote this pathogen by creating ideal conditions for it to thrive. It causes unsightly dark, sunken lesions on leaves, stems, flowers and fruits. The fungi that cause it, mostly from the family Gnomoniaceae, vary depending on the tree species. It can be treated with fungicides. There are some … The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a native tree, present across all counties in Illinois. One thing to note, however, is that while anthracnose isn’t often deadly for your tree, it can and likely will cause some aesthetic damage. Meanwhile the fungal pathogen can grow further and kill dormant buds. Each species of tree is infected by a different species of fungus, thus the fungus does not spread from oak to maple or maple to ash or ash to sycamore. It’s all caused by naturally occurring fungi that tends to ebb and flow with our spring weather over the years. In Minnesota, anthracnose is most common in cool, wet spring weather. Sycamore’s can be harder hit with anthracnose, and if it is a really bad infection, you can have enough damaged leaves to significantly harm your trees, but rarely does anthracnose kill a tree. Trees and shrubs that are prone to anthracnose include maple, camellia, walnut, ash, azalea, oak and sycamore. They won’t kill anthracnose but will help to keep it under control by not allowing its spores to germinate. Fungicide protects your sycamore from anthracnose. The most dangerous of the diseases of sycamore trees is anthracnose, also called leaf and twig blight. Trees usually survive these attacks but may lose apical control temporarily, resulting in increased lateral growth and decreased height. Also, keep trees pruned to allow good air circulation. How to Inject Fungicide Into Sycamore Trees. The fungus spreads from infected to healthy trees as spores carried by the wind or rain. Dispose of fallen foliage to prevent the spread of the disease and prune back any diseased branches. Sycamore Anthracnose: A Nasty Tree Fungus. Anthracnose is a common disease among deciduous trees, especially sycamore, ash and oak. The Pacific dogwood tree is susceptible to a form of anthracnose. Typically, P&A Urban Forestry Consulting says, anthracnose is not fatal to trees, but it can kill a number of plants, including some crops. In severe cases, almost all of the tree’s foliage dies very quickly. Managing Sycamore Anthracnose. Symptoms of sycamore anthracnose normally develop as small spots or dead areas centered along the veins of leaves or along leaf margins (Figure 2). Diseases of Sycamore Trees. Sycamore anthracnose is common and, at times, a serious disease for American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). It is versatile enough to also occur in uplands and commonly invades abandoned fields with its light and fluffy, wind-dispersed seeds. Sycamore Leaves – April Sycamore Tree – May. Fungicides registered for the control of sycamore anthracnose include chlorothalonil, thiophantemethyl, and copper fungicides. Among ash trees, the cultivars Moraine, Raywood, and the Evergreen Ash (Shamel) are more resistant to anthracnose than others. Sycamore adapts to a wide range of soils which makes it a hearty urban tree. Sycamore antracnose is more serious. Believed to be native to the United States, it is found throughout the range of sycamores. Management Of Anthracnose. However, dogwood (Cornus florida) is one major exception with anthracnose infection causing widespread death of this species across its native range. In the past, the only real option open to arborists for the treatment of Sycamore Anthracnose was to spray various fungicides on the leaves and twigs to try and control the disease. However, this doesn’t necessarily spell doom for your sickly looking sycamore. caused by the fungus Apiognomonia veneta. Your sycamore tree is particularly susceptible to anthracnose —a fungus that turns leaves black and brown in summer. Sycamore anthracnose is a disfiguring disease of sycamore and plane trees (Platanus sp.) Anthracnose on Trees; May 8, 2002: Trees commonly infected with anthracnose in Illinois include sycamore, ash, maple, oak, birch, dogwood, and walnut. Picking up and disposing of all diseased plant parts, including twigs and leaves, from the ground or from around the plant is important. In order to really get a handle on this disease to make sure it does not spread to a healthy tree. Timing was critical, and repeated sprays were needed to have any effect at all. How Do You Treat Anthracnose? Although trees lose significant energy in spring while attempting to leaf out, once the canopy finally emerges, the energy produced during the rest of the growing season can supplement the loss. While rarely fatal, the disease negatively affects the look of the tree and, with repeated years of infection, can affect its overall health. This is an early-season disease and many tree species like sycamore will develop new foliage to replace diseased leaves. The most dangerous of the diseases of sycamore trees is anthracnose, also called leaf and twig blight.It can kill American sycamore, although it does only minor damage to other varieties. Brown areas eventually enlarge to include the whole leaf. In severe cases, these lesions may run together and kill the entire leaf. Although anthracnose does not typically kill sycamores, according to Iowa State University horticulturists, it deforms the trees and occasionally proves fatal. Trees are adapted to a wide range of climate zones. The perfect conditions are created when temperatures are in the 50’s during initial leaf out and bud break with frequent rain and wind helping to disperse spores and increase infection rates. Platanus occidentalis, also known as American sycamore, American planetree, western plane, occidental plane, buttonwood, and water beech, is a species of Platanus native to the eastern and central United States, the mountains of northeastern Mexico, extreme southern Ontario, and possibly extreme southern Quebec. Anthracnose control begins with practicing good sanitation. Watering during times of low rainfall can help maintain production and boost energy reserves for next year. Sycamore anthracnose is rarely deadly, but can make the trees unsightly and cause areas of the tree to die back. Sycamore Anthracnose is a tree disease that is caused by the fungus Apiognomonia veneta. You’ll find that there are quite a few diseases of sycamore trees. Disinfect your pruning shears between each cut with rubbing alcohol. It also kills twigs and, if severe, entire branches. Like anthracnose diseases of other shade trees, sycamore anthracnose is a very common occurrence in the landscape (Figure 1). Dogwood, birch, elm, walnut, butternut, hickory, and other trees may also be damaged. May 2013 Brought to you by: Where possible, consider pruning out stem cankers as well to reduce spring spore production. Sycamore trees may lose all of their leaves several times during the growing season. Anthracnose on Deciduous Trees Shade trees commonly affected by anthracnose are ash, dogwood, elm, hickory, maple, oak, sycamore, and walnut. Spores can infect new shoots and buds often killing them before leaves can even develop, creating the alarmingly bare tree canopies we can see now. Trees can be pollarded to develop a lower canopy. ‹QÈy”ú¹Èɉlx_PüÈ "äÛùˆû ¿Î �$ï9ü/Rïj!¾lÎ_áÊè&%àJhĞEñV‚gŒ—.-¶Ún•œĞnÙ}@¸�# Î($2 å8ª}âıA�¥è”s”_àÍHŠy@[ úºÂmäí(@Œ#Şu¢š¸Ô£Ï”ä. These active cankers also serve as reinfection sources during subsequent years. are deciduous trees prized as shade trees for their fast growth rate, attractive, unusual bark and large, lobed leaves. Perhaps it’s one major downfall is susceptibility to a leaf and twig infecting fungus, referred to as anthracnose, which has plagued the species for the past few springs. Twigs can develop cankers, which are sunken areas of dead tissue (fig 4). Another common disease of sycamore trees include powdery mildew fungus. Anthracnose is a common name used to refer to a group of fungi that case damage to shade trees. It also affects shrubs such as privet. This can cause leaves to fall off the tree too early. Although it does present somewhat of a maintenance issue in the form of dropped leaves and twigs, I have been impressed with its performance in urban environments. Leaf symptoms are typically along veins.The fungus overwinters on twigs and then splashes onto new growth, attacking the new buds and twigs in the spring. It develops into a large, majestic shade tree with beautiful, creamy white inner bark that contrasts nicely with darker chunks of older, exfoliating bark over time to create a wonderful ornamental display of year-round interest. My best guess was anthracnose. Anthracnose becomes especially severe on species with susceptible twigs, such as sycamore and dogwood. The severity of infection is directly related to weather conditions as leaves emerge. Labels may be updated yearly or more often. Always read label directions. Although a large, bare sycamore is unsightly this time of year, have faith that your tree will recover and leaf out in the coming weeks as rainfall lessens and anthracnose infection rates dwindle. Rake and destroy fallen leaves around susceptible trees that have branches close to the ground. Sycamores can also develop stem cankers, which kill twigs and create a “witches broom” appearance on branch tips. This rapid wilting is frequently misidentified as frost damage. Spraying must begin at bud break and be repeated on a weekly or biweekly schedule until the weather warms, daily temperatures averaging above 60°F. Anthracnose is a common fungal disease of shade trees that results in leaf spots, cupping or curling of leaves and early leaf drop. Since leaf out typically isn’t completed until the very hot part of the year, anything that can be done to preserve moisture, such as mulching, is a huge help. srN÷Ñ.Ğlõ,²ÏLJ¿,80^fNÂ\N¥{Ó›>RÖ¸´ö! Because it’s more of a cosmetic issue than a serious tree … Signs and Symptoms of Sycamore Anthracnose Signs of infected trees are shrived young leaves (fig 1), leaf necrosis (dead areas) on older leaves starting at vein but eventually killing the entire leaf (fig 2), and twig die-back (fig 3). Anthracnose. All of this results in the very bare-looking sycamore trees that Michigan residents have noticed. Optimum conditions for growth. ©2020 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | College of ACES |  Web Privacy Notice | EEO | Accessibility | Staff Login | myExtension, College of Agricultural Consumer & Environmental Sciences, Serving Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. California sycamore (Platanus racemosa) is very susceptible to anthracnose which disfigures the tree, giving it a twisted appearance. Anthracnose diseases are characterized by discrete lesions that are usually found along leaf veins. Although the disease is rarely fatal and trees will grow a second set of leaves, repeat infections will result in abnormal branching and will leave a tree stressed and more susceptible to other diseases and pests. Oriental plane tree (zones 7-9) and London plane tree cultivars, Bloodgood, Columbia and Liberty are less susceptible to the disease than the American sycamore. It thrives on the deep fertile soils present in our bottomlands, occupying various locations in the floodplain from streambanks to occasionally flooded terraces and side slopes of the floodplain. The most commonly affected trees are ash, white oak, maple, and sycamore. Other species are affected less frequently. Under conducive conditions these spots expand, killing more leaf tissue and causing premature leaf drop. Sycamores (Platanus sp.) In general, anthracnose will not kill a tree. To confirm, I was expecting to see damaged leaves as shown by Iowa State and re-growth of newer leaves that would be unaffected as the temperatures had risen enough to supress anthracnose. What does anthracnose look like? When a specimen tree must be protected, fungicides can be applied. Arborists in our area have successfully controlled sycamore anthracnose using trunk injections of the systemic fungicide Arbotect 20S. You can help to prevent this disease if you do not water them overhead. London planetree (P. × acerifolia) exhibits varying degrees of resistance while Oriental planetree (P. orientalis) is considered resistant. Larger, more mature leaves develop a brown growth along the main veins. Older leaves turn brown, and dead areas occur along the leaf veins. The sycamore anthracnose fungal organism attacks sycamore trees early in the spring causing a rapid wilt of newly emerging leaves. These fungi are referred to as host specific. The potential pesticide exposure to the applicator that was spraying was huge, and the drift from spraying large sycamores could go way off target and … However, repeated years of severe infections can work to lower tree health over time. It has been another difficult spring for sycamore trees across central Illinois as near bare canopies of this tree stick out among the fully developed leaves of neighboring trees. The recommended fungicides usually are readily available to homeowners at local nurseries and garden centers. This disease affects sycamore trees, but there are some varieties that are resistant (namely the London planetree). We recommend looking into some treatment plans. To lower infection rates, clean up and destroy dead leaves and twigs as they can be a source of reinfection next year. Although not a fatal disease by itself, sycamore anthracnose often weakens a tree making it more … Seed pods in the form of fuzzy ball-like clusters hang from the branches in winter. Spring weather is the primary driver of this pathogen each year. In severe cases, such as this spring, the fungal infection is so extreme that young leaves die and fall off. This fungal disease turns the leaves brown along the veins. Although a large, bare sycamore is unsightly this time of year, have faith that your tree will recover and leaf out in the coming weeks as rainfall lessens and anthracnose infection rates dwindle. 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