Brown Spots On Leaves – Causes, Signs & Treatment

Trees and plants are known to be exposed to a wide range of diseases or pest damage. This leads to a deterioration of their structure or physical appearance.

One of such includes brown spotting on leaves.

If you’ve noticed such discolorations, it’s necessary to find out what the causes are.

Dealing With Brown Spots On Tree Leaves

The quest to know what brown spotting means is the focus of our discussion. There could be a wide range of reasons whenever brown spots on leaves are detected.

When causes aren’t investigated and treated accordingly, it results in steady deterioration and sometimes even death of the tree.

Causes of Brown Spotting on Leaves

More often than not, brown spotting on leaves is due to fungal or bacterial infections. These two (fungal & bacterial infections) are among the common health problems faced by trees.

Luckily, there are lots of ways to treat and prevent such infections as you’ll soon find out.

Not all brown spotting on leaves is caused by fungal or bacterial infections. Some insects may be camouflaging by mimicking a leaf spot disease.

Symptoms When Tree Leaves Are Brown-Spotted

Brown spotting on leaves isn’t all the same. In other words, you’re likely to notice that they don’t all look similar.

Your ability to observe and differentiate certain symptoms enables you to detect the problem.

For example, leaves showing with dark spots or speckles on the top or bottom will attract diagnosis linking such conditions to certain pest actions.

In the case of brown speckles on the leaf surface, these would likely be linked to pest activity.

Such pests will range from whiteflies, aphids, scale, mites, and leaf mealybugs. Such symptoms need to be specific to be linked to pest activity.

For instance, dark spots on leaf surfaces will only be due to pest activity when they don’t look like part of the leaf tissue. Plus, an inspection of the leaf undersides should show raised spots or speckles.

On the other hand, when you notice spots that seem to be part of the leaf tissue, such observations would attract an entirely different diagnosis. This is even more evident when the brown spotted areas on leaves appear soft or dry and smelly.

The second scenario may likely point to an imbalance in certain conditions or plant nutrients.

Possible causes for these brown leaf spotting conditions may be associated with any excess sunlight, manganese imbalance, water stagnation on leaves, bacterial leaf blight, and pH imbalance.

A different interpretation will hold for spotting on the undersides of leaves. When these spots appear either shiny or dry, certain pests such as thrips or nematodes may likely be responsible.

  • Why Diagnosis is Important

It isn’t enough to identify brown spotting on trees and adopt a treatment approach. There needs to be a thorough understanding of what’s being observed.

If there are pathogens within the leaves, appropriate treatment is adopted to get rid of them.

Treatment For Tree Leaves With Brown Spots

Sometimes, trees do not require treatment at all for brown spotting in leaves. These are waited upon to be shed by the tree, after which a new growth of spotless leaves appear.

Normally, this should solve the problem as soon as old leaves drop and new leaves sprout.

However, that isn’t always the case. Certain trees may show brown spotting on leaves consecutively for several years.

If this is the case, there could be a bigger problem than what’s being observed. Under such circumstances, several actions need to be taken.

Such actions will range from the clearing of dropped leaves, keeping the leaves dry, pruning affected limbs, use fungicides, call an arborist, and remove the tree.

  • Clearing of Dropped Leaves

To prevent further spread of this infection to other trees. Leaves will need to be cleared and properly disposed of far off.

This can be a painstaking and slow process that needs to be done each day until leaves are all shed.

This treatment strategy for brown spotting on leaves can be done in conjunction with other treatment methods. The focus is to limit the spread of diseases to uninfected plants.

  • Keeping Leaves Dry

One of the things you’ll need to do when watering plants is to ensure that splashes are minimized on leaves.

Brown spotting may be caused by stagnant water on leaves as earlier mentioned. This may be difficult to implement during the rainy season.

Luckily, there’s no need to keep leaves dry during the rainy season as brown spotting hardly occurs due to wet leaves during this season. Keeping leaves dry should be implemented more during the dry season.

When using a sprinkler, you can target it away from leaves as long the roots need to take up water to sustain the plant.

  • Pruning Affected Limbs

Sometimes, pruning may be necessary to manually take off brown-spotted leaves. This is mostly the case when such spotting is severe. You’ll need appropriate tools for the job. Tools needed to depend on the type of plant being pruned.

The most basic pruning tools will include pruners, hedge shears, pruning saws, and loppers, etc.

  • Using Fungicides

It’s possible that brown spotting on leaves may be caused by a fungal infection.

To further confirm this, consider calling an expert to inspect and diagnose the problem. Results confirming fungal action may require as part of the treatment methods to spray or apply fungicides.

You’ll need to know just how to apply these fungicides. Most treatment products come with clear user instructions.

Carefully read through and follow every instruction provided. Another alternative you have is to call for treatment. A professional applies the required treatments on affected leaves.

  • Call an Arborist

Not all pruning or inspection jobs can be done effectively. As such, the services of an arborist will prove crucial to reviving your tree leaves.

  • Remove the Tree

In certain cases, consecutive brown spotting on leaves may be due to a bigger infection. Such an infection may have damaged the tree. Under such circumstances, outright removal of the tree or plant may be necessary.

This is best done by a professional or reputable tree removal service.

Brown spotting on leaves could be a minor problem or maybe worse than you think. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to allow the plant to shed its leaves and sprout new ones.

If the problem persists, appropriate actions will need to be taken. We’ve mentioned several of such actions above.

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