Q: My sycamore was losing leaves and I hired an arborist to look at it. He says I have bacterial leaf scorch and that he can only chop out the affected branches. Is there anything I can spray?
A: Sadly, there is nothing you can spray. Bacterial leaf scorch is a serious disease that affects mainly oak trees but can cause great harm to sycamore, sweetgum and ginkgo.
UGA pathologist Elizabeth Little says: “Bacterial scorch has been affecting most of the sycamore trees here in Athens on campus. This disease is often confused with sycamore anthracnose, but bacterial scorch will kill the trees over time and there is no cure or treatment. The symptoms are different as well. Bacterial scorch produces a distinctive marginal and interveinal browning which shows up during the heat of the summer. Anthracnose often runs along veins and is most common in the spring during wet weather. If one tree is fine and the one next to it is dying back, bacterial scorch is what I would suspect.”
The disease has run rampant in Kentucky. Click the link to get more information.