Japanese Maple Tree
The leaves on my 4-yr-old Japanese Maple tree have holes in them, are dry and curling. Can you tell me what the problem is? I live in an area with a lot of wildlife passing through my yard, and neighbors with cats that roam. My concern is any type of insecticide, etc. that would be harmful to them.
I live in Wendell, NC - 15 miles east of Raleigh, NC.
These are leaf spot caused by a fungus. I am going to guess it is Phyllostict leaf spot. A leaf spot that infects late in the growing season causes very little damage except maybe the leaves will fall earlier than normal. If you want to control the fungus the leaf surface would need to be sprayed with a fungicide in the spring. A large tree would be difficult to spray and in my opinion not worth the effort since the damage to the health of the tree is slight.
Phyllosticta Leaf Spot of Maple. Pathogen: Phyllosticta minima
Like many fungal leaf spots, this disease affects a number of maple species, most prominently Amur, Japanese, red and silver maple. The disease causes little damage because the infection is localized. Spots are roughly circular and develop into tannish spots with purple to red borders. Later in the season the spots often contain black fruiting bodies of the fungus arranged in rings inside the lesion. Although this disease is quite noticeable in the landscape, especially on silver and red maples, and causes concern among homeowners, damage is minimal and fungicides are rarely necessary. If fungicides are required use a labeled product containing mancozeb or chlorothalonil. Fungicide will have to be sprayed on the new leaves and will wash off with rains and will need to be applied every 14-21 days if it rains.
The fungicide will not harm the animals.