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Tar Spot Affects Leaves of Maple Trees in North End Halifax
(Thursday, August 21, 2008) - Instances of Maple trees infected with Tar Spot have been detected in the north end of Halifax and signs of it are showing up in the south end, as well.
Tar Spot is a fungi from the genus Rhytisma, which affect the leaves of Maple trees. Black spots form on the leaf surface in size range of up to 1.5 inches in diameter. Tar Spot is rarely serious enough to threaten the health of a tree, but heavy infection can result in premature leaf drop.
The fungi that causes Tar Spot overwinters on infected leaves that have fallen to the ground and not disposed of properly. The following Spring when the new leaves start to unfold, the fungal tissue in the leaves left on the ground ripens and the surface of the spot splits. This causes needle like spores to be carried by the wind and infect the newly unfolded leaves, thus causing a new disease cycle. Therefore, it is recommended that leaves be raked up, bagged or deposited into your green bin and not left on the ground.
Constantinos Liolis, Work Supervisor
HRM Urban Forestry
Parks and Open Spaces