This year people are noticing that maple leaves appear wilted or browned and heavy leaf drops are premature in many cases. UConn Extension educator and forestry expert, Tom Worthley, says that this “maple leaf phenomenon is a foliar fungus from the anthracnose group. During summers with high humidity and lots of rainfall these fungi can be very active and that is what we are seeing this year. It is not generally fatal unless a particular tree is under some other severe stress, and there is not much that people can do.” Maple anthracnose overwinters in fallen leaves and the disease is worse in natural or wooded areas where the fallen leaves collect from year to year. Along roadsides, this is especially in evidence by the noticeable difference in the leaves of infected maples compared to other trees surrounding them. Learn more about Maple Anthracnose.
Answered by the UConn Home & Garden Education Center and Tom Worthley