Maple tree leaves falling, concerning Broome County residents - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Maple tree leaves falling, concerning Broome County residents

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(WBNG) -- It's something that can be seen happening all around Broome County. 

"The tree was green and then we got back from vacation in a matter of four or five days the leaves were already starting to turn brown and we were worried that we were going to lose the tree," said town of Union resident Dave Tidick. 

Many people are noticing their maple trees are becoming bare, as the leaves turn brown and fall off. 

"We've had a lot of fungal disease and the trees, the leaves have become infected due to the wet conditions we had this spring," said Extension Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County Kevin Mathers. "Now those infections are getting severe enough that the leaves are falling off the trees."

Mathers said the good news is the maple trees aren't dead. Mathers also said there is something people can do. 

"Rake up the leaves, try not to leave them there," explained Mathers. "The real problem is if you leave the leaves on the ground all winter long, next spring those leaves are a source of infection for the disease which gets started early in the spring." 

So far, this has been the wettest year on record in Binghamton. Mathers said this fungus isn't going to cause any long-term harm for maple trees. He also added that the fungus doesn't usually attack maple trees on syrup farms so they should not have a problem this upcoming season.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released this statement to 12 News:

"There are no confirmed epidemics facing maple trees in the state. However, with the very wet season experienced in the region, maple trees can be affected by wet conditions causing tar spots on the leaves, a type of fungus that manifests itself onto the leaves of maples in wet weather.  Tar spot is common, specially this year, and innocuous.  The public should not panic if they see it. Raking the leaves will work as tar spot control.
 
DEC’s forest health team is currently conducting aerial surveys of forested areas throughout the state and have observed that the tent caterpillar is having a peak season in the northern part of the state (Tug Hill and Adirondack region) which can damage the health of the trees.   
 
Anyone that notices any insects or markings on their trees are encouraged to email DEC’s forest health staff to examine the photos and in some cases go out to inspect a threatened tree.  Photos can be emailed to DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests at LF.Lands@dec.ny.gov."

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