Maple Leaf Blister #659297 - Ask Extension

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Maple Leaf Blister #659297

Asked July 03, 2020, 9:09 AM EDT

I had 3 12 foot crimson maples planted in our yard this spring. I was worried I wasn't giving them enuf water because the leaves had brown, curly edges. Now that I have seen your web site about leaf blister....I think that is what is going on. Will this go away next year with new leaves? Im seeing some new leaf growth now but they don't look very hearty. What can I do? Mary Shackleton

Leelanau County Michigan

Expert Response

Hello Mary,

Yes,the leaf blister and anthracnose goes away. But, it can come back next year if conditions for it are right. The fungi are always in the environment. Some years have higher incidence than others.

As you read in the leaf blister article, make sure the tree has adequate water during periods of drought over summer helps trees recover from the stress of putting out a new set of leaves. MSUExtension also suggests raking up and discarding fallen leaves, but many of the fungi that cause diseases overwinter on twigs and bud scales.

Well cared for trees will recover from these diseases. Give your  trees good care by:

These new trees need close attention to water their first 3-4 years while they put out new roots. If in doubt, check soil 3-4 inches down with your finger and water when dry.

Mulch in a circle around each tree with shredded bark or wood 3 inches deep. Do not let mulch pile against the trunk

Protect the trunks in late fall with a burlap, paper or pierced plastic tree trunk wrap. This helps prevent frost cracks and sunscald on the thin, young bark. Remove the wrap each spring, and replace each fall for 3-4 seasons. 

If wildlife is abundant, put up temporary 2 ft high wire fencing to protect from gnawing animals , even higher fencing for deer. This can be removed in spring. 

Next spring when ground is thawed use a tree and shrub fertilizer according to package  directions. After 1-2 seasons get a soil test and fertilize only if the test shows a need. Never let “weed and feed” or weed killers get into the root zone of your trees. 

If trees are staked, remove stakes next year.

Here is a TreeOwners Manual that explains correct planting and care-

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5368392.pdf

Since these are newly planted trees, check the planting instructions in the link above and make sure your trees are not planted too deeply. If they are, reset them now.

Laura Sheffer Replied July 03, 2020, 10:23 AM EDT

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