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Homeowners expect the trees’ leaves to take on a new color, following the arrival of the autumn temperatures. However, no homeowner wants to discover black or brown spots on a tree’s leaves.

What is the message to a homeowner that has discovered such spots?

The appearance on leaves of such brown or black markings usually means that the affected tree suffers from the effects of a fungal infestation.

What action should homeowners take, after discovering such spots, and how quickly must any one of them take the required action?

The ideal response would call for utilization of the homeowner’s phone. A tree care professional should be called, so that he or she could take a look at the spotted leaves.

How soon should that call be made, following discovery of the brown and black markings? The answer to that question depends on the answer to a couple other questions. Are the spots spreading? Are the leaves falling off of the affected branches?

If the answer to either of the preceding questions is “yes,” then a Commercial Tree Service professional in Palo Alto should be contacted just as soon as possible.

Other information that could help a professional to prepare for an examination of the spotted leaves

Check to see if the texture of the spots resembles the texture on other parts of the tree.Are the spots on the leaves’ bottom surface? Are the same leaved dry and shiny? A “yes” answer would indicate that the problem has been caused by nematodes.

Do the spots look dry or oozy? If so, then that should cause a professional to ponder on these possibilities:

–Could blight have hit the affected tree?
–Could there be a pH problem in the soil?
–Could the spotting be evidence of a manganese imbalance?

Actions to be taken by homeowners, if a professional were to confirm suspicions about an infestation

Make a point of raking up any fallen leaves just as soon as possible. That keeps the fungus from getting spread by the wind. It also increases the effective nature of the next suggested action. Do not continue to use overhead watering, when providing the affected trees with liquid refreshment. Instead, pour water at each affected tree’s base.

Consider using fungicides. Unlike herbicides, fungicides should not hurt any healthy plants, large or short ones. The fungicides attack the fungus that has caused the infestation.

Naturally, if a professional were to declare that the problem had not been caused by an infestation, then that same tree care expert should suggest the steps to be taken by the client/homeowner. Each of the possible problems described above, would call for utilization of a unique approach by either the client or a nursery service.