Anthracnose is a general term for fungal diseases that attack shade trees, shrubs and lawns. On trees and shrubs, the fungal disease leaves reddish-brown, black or tan spots on leaves, sunken cankers on stems and can cause severe leaf drop and twig dieback and even leaf curl back on young trees. It is most common after spring rains. Trees affected most commonly include dogwood, elm, maple, sycamore and white oak. Due to their size, it is difficult to control on trees. Anthracnose can sometimes infect roses in very hot weather and is often confused with black spot.
- Plant resistant varieties whenever possible.
- Clean-up and dispose of fallen leaves and litter, where disease can overwinter.
- Dispose of infected prunings.
- Avoid severe pruning as vigorous growth can increase infection.
- Space plants apart to maximize air circulation and increase sunlight for faster drying.