When in doubt, rake it out

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For the most part, 2015 has given us a beautiful autumn. Some have noticed, however, that certain tree species in their yards have not shown off beautiful fall colors. Instead, their leaves have just turned brown, shriveled and dropped off. In some areas, this has happened with basswood trees. Others have included cottonwood or “popple” species, and even some red maples. Although this leaf browning and shriveling can happen for many different reasons, various types of anthracnose can cause these problems, especially in the relatively cool and wet summer conditions we have had this year. Regardless, the best (and only) thing that you can do at this point is to rake and dispose of the leaves. This will help reduce the spread next year. As long as a tree isn’t severely affected for several successive years, it will recover…and hopefully show off some autumn splendor next year!


NOTE: If you have noticed premature wilting, browning and dropping of leaves on your oak trees this summer, it might be more serious! It might be oak wilt. Check with your local Extension or Conservation District office to confirm symptoms, or review the following bulletin: Oak Wilt in Michigan.


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