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Oct 14, 2020Garden

Leaf spot is a term used to describe various diseases that affect the foliage of ornamentals and shade trees. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the majority of instances of leaf spot are caused by fungi, though some are the result of bacteria. While leaf spot can contribute to some defoliation in a plant, the Missouri Botanical Garden notes that established plants can tolerate near-complete defoliation if it occurs late in the season or less frequently than every year. However, small trees or those that are newly planted are more vulnerable to damage resulting from defoliation than established trees. Damage from leaf spot tends to occur in the spring, when wet weather and wind splashes and blows spores from fungi onto newly emerging leaves. The spores then germinate in the wet leaves, ultimately infecting them.

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