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Many Maple trees in town are infected with Maple Tree Tar Spot, a fungal pathogen that causes small yellow spots on growing leaves that turn to large black spots that look like tar. These spots are unsightly, but do not harm your tree. Unfortunately, Maple Tree Tar Spot is spread on the wind, which means that your tree can get reinfested next year if spores happen to blow in the wind.
How do we treat this disease? Because of the way in which the spores are spread, complete control of tar spot is virtually impossible on mature trees. Prevention is the key! Start by raking all of your maple’s fallen leaves and bagging them to eliminate the closest source of tar spores. If you leave the fallen leaves on the ground until spring, the spores will likely reinfect the new foliage and start the cycle all over again. Trees need room to breathe and prevent excess moisture build up, so pull mulch back from the trunks to expose the soil.
River Grove has been a Tree City USA for 25 years; our commitment to maintaining that status
means we strive to plant more trees than we remove. The storm on August 10th resulted in many trees
being damaged and removed. In an effort to plant trees, the Village is currently offering a 50/50 Tree
Planting Program. A variety of 12 trees are being offered at $160 per tree, including planting by a
landscaper this fall. Please call Public Works at (708)452-7055 for more information and to obtain an order
form. Orders must be placed by October 10th. If you have a maple with tar spots and would like me to look
at it, please call Public Works and I will stop over an assess your tree. If we work together, we can maintain
our beautiful tree population here in River Grove!