Archive for the ‘Leaf Blotch’ Category

Leaf Blotch Prevention and treatment

December 3, 2014 5:16 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

James asks…

Leaf Blotch Prevention and treatment

Why does my chestnut tree’s leaves start turning brown and start falling off at the end of July?

I have two on my property. They are actually horse chestnuts. I was told by a friend that it would stop if I raked the leaves up as soon as they fell. I tried this tactic, but they still brown prematurely. It’s kind of depressing because it makes it seem like summer’s shorter than it really is. Any tree experts out there? I’d appreciate any input/advice.

Martin Boyle answers:

horsechestnut leaf blotch

horsechestnut leaf blotch

What your friend has described is the cultural prevention for leaf blotch, a common fungal infection of Horse chestnut trees. Raking the fallen leaves removes the inoculum (fungal spores) from the area and helps to minimize the chance of infection NEXT spring. It will not stop the disease this year. Leaf blotch is primarily an aesthetic problem. It does not threaten the life of the tree. You can also spray fungicides as leaves emerge to prevent leaf blotch. Here is a good article with pictures of leaf blotch. http://extension.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/guignardia-leaf-blotch

If these pics do not match your tree’s symptoms then your tree may have leaf scorch. Leaf scorch is characterized by leaves browning on the margins from the outside in. Leaf scorch can also result in premature leaf drop. This is caused by dry soils. Periodical supplemental watering can prevent leaf scorch in the future.

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