Common Fall Leaf Problems

By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

            As you are enjoying the autumn colors, perhaps you are also noticing changes that may concern you in the leaves of your trees and shrubs. Have you seen your evergreen needles turning yellow or spied black spots on your maple leaves? 

During September and October, deciduous trees are going through the process of losing their leaves and going dormant. Evergreens go through a similar natural cycle called seasonal needle drop. An evergreen’s oldest, innermost needles, the ones closest to the trunk, may turn yellow or brown and fall off, much like deciduous trees dropping their leaves. The discoloration and sometimes dramatic loss of needles can be alarming, but it is normal and not detrimental to the trees or shrubs.   

Have you noticed black spots on your maple leaves? This is most likely a fungal disease called tar spot. Black, tarry spots can form on the leaves of maples. While the spots may begin to appear in late summer, they are usually noticed more often in September or October when the spots are at their full size. As leaf raking begins, the bright fall colors make the spots more visible. This fungal disease is cosmetic and shouldn’t affect the entire tree. Once the infected leaves fall, a good cleanup and proper leaf disposal will help control the disease.

Bloch’s Farm still has a great selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs. Colorful mums are also available to complete your fall look! Fall is a wonderful time to plant, so don’t wait, stop in today! Call 920-294-6000 or e-mail with any questions. Visit our website online at and our Facebook page.

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