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Fungus affecting Fall foliage

Fungus affecting Fall foliage (WRGB)

ALBANY, NY (WRGB)---Two different fungus diseases, and one terrible outcome.

"I saw leaves falling from these two diseases in July, and that's very early."

That's Dr. Lily Calderwood with Cornell Cooperative Extension.

And the two diseases she's talking about are tar spot, which causes dark black lesions and eventually holes to appear on leaves, and anthracnose, which causes a brown, blotchy discoloration to leaves causing them to also fall prematurely.

Both are the result of a wet cool spring which carried over into the summer.

"In some areas it seems to be more than 50% of the maples," said Calderwood.

Maples, specifically the Norway Maple are most prone to both of these leaf killers, and the City of Troy and surrounding areas seem to be ground zero.

Norway maples, according to Dr. Calderwood are the trees you typically see in residential areas.

But the anthracnose could spread even beyond the leaf.

Dr. Calderwood says, either disease isn't capable of killing a tree altogether, but it still needs to be managed.

"It is a good idea to remove the diseased leaf material after its fallen to the ground this year," she said.

She says that helps it from returning next year.

But, there is a bit of good news for you leaf peepers.

"The sugar maples that give us such brilliant color don't get hit as much by it," said Calderwood.

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