Anthracnose May Be Cause of Sycamore New Growth Wilting This Spring

Less than healthy sycamore tree near the intersection of Park Place and Quebec Place, NW.

Less than healthy sycamore tree near the intersection of Park Place and Quebec Place, NW.

This spring I noticed that many of our area Sycamore trees didn’t look all that healthy. When Casey Trees noted at the start of the week that we are still 1.2″ below our average rainfall even with our recent precipitation, I took the opportunity to ask them if our below average rainfall might be the cause of the sickly looking trees. After sending them some photos, Casey Trees opined that the cause was possibly Sycamore Anthracnose. If this is true, the trees’ leaves should grow back long term.

According to a Website that Casey Trees provided, Anthracnose is the common name given to a group of fungal pathogens which cause dark, usually sunken lesions. The sycamore anthracnose fungal organism attacks sycamore trees early in the spring causing a rapid wilt of newly emerging leaves.

Close up

Close up of Sycamore showing damage and wilting of newly emerging leaves.

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4 Comments on “Anthracnose May Be Cause of Sycamore New Growth Wilting This Spring”

  1. ANNIE'S ACE HARDWARE Says:

    is there any way to treat this other than wait it out?

  2. jcm Says:

    Thanks for looking into this. I have a large London Plane (close relative of the sycamore) in front of my house that is doing poorly this year, with lots of green leaf wilt and a powdery substance on the leaves. I submitted a tree inspection request via 311 and it was closed with no comment added to the ticket.

    I hate it when people close 311 tickets with no comment. This post serves as my reminder that I need to follow up with the mayor’s office and find out why they did that.

  3. SunPest Says:

    Proactive treatment is best; successive infections are both likely and, over time, devastating. Find an arborist that is licensed and qualified to administer a systemic injection in the late summer/early fall to protect the buds that will open the following year. This approach is by far the friendliest to the environment (no off-target spray) and impressively effective. The treatment must be repeated every season.

    jcm, it sounds as if your tree has both an anthracnose infection as well as a powdery mildew infection – both quite common to the species. Powdery mildew is more unsightly than it is damaging to the long-term health of the tree, but the anthracnose should be taken seriously.


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