In the battle to protect your yard from leaf spot disease and pests, some of the most serious threats are also among the subtlest. This is especially clear with leaf spot disease, a family of plant illnesses that are often difficult to separate from more mundane threats to your lawn and garden. At first glance, plants infected with leaf spot disease simply look like they haven’t been watered enough or have been in the sun too long. In fact, it is the result of serious fungal or other infections, which can destroy your plants even if you water them adequately. Only by identifying leaf spot disease early and taking quick, decisive action can Southeast Michigan homeowners keep their gardens and lawns healthy for the long haul.


Leaf spot disease refers to a range of different illnesses that cause discolored spots to form on your plants. While many different pathogens can cause these illnesses, fungi are among the most common.

Such fungi include:
  • Powdery Mildew- A common threat to Midwestern gardens, powdery mildew infects thousands of different types of plants. In addition to leaving grey spots, it causes white growths to appear on and around the leaves and stems. It also causes leaves to turn red, yellow, or purple and fall off the plant.

  • Apple Scab- Flourishing during the summer, this fungus most often infects fruit trees. It leaves dark green spots that gradually grow larger and darker, and can cause leaves to curl, pucker, and fall off the plant. It also infects any fruit the plant produces, making it appear cracked and misshapen.

  • Leaf Rust- Caused by a range of closely-related fungal species, leaf rust tends to infect apple, crabapple, rose, cranberry, currant, and gooseberry plants. It produces red, yellow, and orange spots.
Protecting your plants from fungal leaf spot disease requires a combination of preventative and curative measures. If they are currently infected, you must apply fungicide in all damaged areas of the plant, which will kill the fungi and help the plant to recover. You should then take steps to prevent any remaining traces of the disease from infecting the plant again and spreading. This involves removing excessive thatch from the soil, taking care not to overwater the plants, and bagging any leaves or clippings as soon as they fall on the ground.


Anthracnose is a fungal infection that causes spots to form on your leaves and is sometimes classified as a type of leaf spot disease. But unlike most other forms of the disease, anthracnose does not directly cause permanent damage to your plants, though it can weaken them and make them more vulnerable to other illnesses and pests. For this reason, Michigan homeowners do not regard anthracnose as seriously as they think of leaf spot disease and can afford to take more time to remove it. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell the difference between anthracnose and severe leaf spot disease, in part because the two threats look so similar. Both cause your plants to develop tan and brown blotches and spots, and lead leaves to curl, pucker, and eventually fall off. Michigan homeowners thus tend to have trouble determining just how serious the threat to their plants are, making it essential for them to turn to professionals. Certified arborists know how to examine your plants in detail, assess whether they are being damaged by anthracnose or severe leaf spot disease, and find the best course of treatment for the issue. Only then can you be sure you are treating your infected plants correctly.


As a skilled tree care service with extensive experience in the Southeast Michigan area, Safari Tree has the resources and expertise to deal with every variety of leaf spot infection. We have developed a strategy to identify and eliminate fungal infections immediately, starting with:
  • Symptoms Assessment- We examine your plants for spots, lesions, and other signs of infection, and pay close attention to the specific arrangement and color of these symptoms. Based on this information, we determine the exact type of fungus you’re facing and the treatment necessary to eliminate it.

  • Regular Treatments- For most leaf spot cases, we apply fungicide to your plants repeatedly at regular intervals. This not only kills the initial infection but makes sure any vestiges of it are permanently eliminated.

  • Proactive Measures- As we treat your plants for leaf spot disease, we also help you make your yard less susceptible to future infections. We help eliminate thatch and clippings while setting clear watering standards, so it’s harder for spores to take root.

Don’t give leaf spot, anthracnose, and other tree illnesses an opportunity to ruin your property. As a certified arborist, Safari Tree is more than happy to diagnose and treat all harmful plant diseases. For a free estimate or more information, contact us today.