COLUMBUS, OH - Sycamore trees may appear to be sick or dying in some parts of Ohio, but foresters with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) say the trees should recover this summer. According to the ODNR Division of Forestry, many sycamore trees in Ohio have been affected by sycamore anthracnose, a springtime disease affecting the trees' foliage. This disease, which appears each spring with various tree species, has been unusually severe this year with sycamores.
Sycamore anthracnose occurs when cool, moist conditions prevail as the leaves begin to emerge from the bud and expand. The disease is caused by the fungus Apiognomonia veneta, which can also kill new shoots and cause branch cankers on twigs and smaller branches.
By mid-summer, regrowth will be underway with Ohio's sycamore trees and new shoots will arise from buds that would have remained dormant, said Dan Balser, forest health biologist with the ODNR Division of Forestry. Summer heat and dryness will prevent the new shoots from being attacked by the disease. Affected trees will be stressed, but should survive with little permanent damage. Weakened trees may be subject to branch die-back and insect attack.
Other hardwood trees such as ash, oak and maple are also subject to anthracnose diseases, each affected by a different form of the fungus. Anthracnose-affected leaves will develop brown or black spots and blotches. Leaves will often drop from the trees as the disease develops during extended periods of wet weather.