Sweetgum- Dying

Q: I have a sweetgum tree in my back yard that appears to be dying. The leaves have all turned color as though it was fall and they have black spots on them. What is this?

A: I’ve seen similar symptoms on maple, poplar and dogwood. Leaf diseases have not affected all trees but they are very noticeable on the ones they do strike. I’m sure the weeks of hot and humid weather in July and early August initiated the problems. The fungus on your sweetgum tree is either sweetgum anthracnose, ^Gloeosporium nervisequum^, or sweetgum leaf spot, ^Cercospora liquidambaris^. Similar fungi attack the other trees I’ve mentioned. Affected trees look rough now but probably won’t be killed.

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