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Frisky Fungus Among Us & Spotted Leaves

Frisky Fungus Among Us & Spotted Leaves

Let’s face it, in the fall, it seems natural to rake your leaves up before the snow sets in. But did you know that there are some great benefits in leaving your leaves unraked?

For instance, using your unraked leaves as mulch around the base of your tree trunk can provide exceptional nutrients for your tree and lawn over the winter.

They can also provide a warm cozy spot for bugs and animals to hibernate in so they’ll be ready to pollinate or add soil diversity come spring.

However, there are some cases in which raking up your leaves is the best course of action To keep your trees healthy.

For example, we’ve been seeing a lot of leaf spotting on our cottonwoods and aspens lately. This is usually caused by fungi or bacteria that can fly back up into open spores on tree limbs if not raked properly. Leaving the diseased leaves amuck allows for wind, rain, and even other pests to transport the disease anywhere.

Spotted Leaves

spotted leaves

These leaf spot diseases come from a variety of fungal hosts, meaning the spots can vary from small discrete dots to irregular yellow or brownish shades.

While it can be worrisome to see the leaves fall prematurely; it’s very likely that your trees aren’t dying. In fact, they’re actually having a completely natural response to the unruly weather conditions we’ve had this year.

Our wet, rainy spring combined with the hot summer made for the perfect cesspool to trigger leaf issues that normally might not be as prevalent here in our typically dry Colorado.

But again, this doesn’t necessarily pose a threat to the long-term health of your trees, there just may be a few extra steps to take to ensure the disease doesn’t keep cycling through the tree or spread to other ones.

So if this seems to be the case for your trees, don’t wait to get those leaves raked and packed. But if your leaves and trees seem to be pretty healthy, it’s really up to you if you choose to rake your leaves for a clear lawn or keep them for any nutritional purposes.

However, if you’re looking to manage these diseases and pests, AborScape has some great spray technicians who are happy to come out and apply a fungicide, such as PHOSPHO-jet. However, you’ll want to note that these services are time-sensitive and only necessary if your tree has lost leaves multiple years in a row.

We know not having a quick and easy fix for all your tree care needs can be frustrating, as you want to enjoy the benefits of your trees and stunning landscape all year long. 

This is where the mundane tree care habits come into play, such as choosing to rake… or not. Even pruning your trees or shrubs regularly can help as this allows the sun to shine through to minimize the dampness that allows for fungi to grow.

Watering also comes into play. You’ll want to make sure that you’re not watering the foliage of your tree but rather around the base so allow the roots to absorb the water instead of the leaves, as that extra wetness can promote fungi development.

Anything you can do to relieve the stress on your trees is a great way to start! And if you start to notice the health of your tree continuously dwindling, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can perform a proper assessment of the tree’s quality and overall health and we’ll find you the perfect treatment plan for the longevity of your trees and landscape.

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