Cold, wet spring causing ash trees to shed

Anthracnose Fungal Disease commonly affects ash trees in southern Minnesota, but experts say it’s nothing to worry about.

Cold, wet spring causing ash trees to shed

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Raking leaves is usually reserved for fall months, but for some residents with ash trees, driveways and yards have been littered with leaves all month.

It's due to anthracnose fungal disease, but experts say it's nothing to worry about as long as your trees are mature.

The disease hits southern Minnesota trees every few years due to certain weather trends.

“The cool, wet weather we’ve been experiencing in the spring has really been setting off those fungal diseases,” Gary Wyatt from the University of Minnesota Extension said. “The leaves usually deform and then they can fall off and turn brown on the ground ... but the whole tree will leaf out and be fine.”

Wyatt said mature ash trees will survive a round of the disease, and that excess falling leaves are not a sign of emerald ash borers.

“Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that burrows into the bark of the tree,” Wyatt said. “You don’t have to be concerned about the emerald ash borer and the leaves dropping. Leaves dropping is a sign of anthracnose fungal disease.”

Falling leaves can persist throughout the summer if the weather stays cool and wet, but Wyatt says fungicides are not needed for ash trees.

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