What’s missing from this picture?

As I admired the carpet of maple leaves in my yard (Norway maple leaves, she sighed resignedly), wondering if I had time to haul out my shredder, I noticed something. To be exact, I noticed something that wasn’t there.

Can you see it? No tar spots. None. Not anywhere.

We first wrote about the disfiguring fungal disease black tar spot of maples way back in 2009. At the time, it wasn’t new, and since that time it has been a regular feature on maple trees around the city. But, hey, 2016 seems to be spot free. At least in my yard. How about yours?

Not a spot to be seen on our backyard fence tree

People were concerned when black tar spot first appeared. What could they do? Rake them all up and get rid of them, some of the advice came back. Right. In a city full of maples, that’s kind of hard to do.

But it goes to show that sometimes Nature and Time just sort things out, without intervention from humans. I’ve never sent my spotty leaves away. In fact, since the black tar spot problem first appeared, I’ve continued to either compost the spotty leaves or rake them right onto my garden, sometimes shredded, sometimes not.

And – eventually – look, Ma, no spots.

The fence trees in ours and our neighbour’s yard are still loaded with leaves. Not a spot in sight.

The leaves on the four Norway maples I share my garden with – two planted nearly 100 years ago by the city, two “fence trees” that planted themselves in ours and our neighbour’s yards – are always the last on the street to fall. I have my theories about why. Perhaps I’ll find a spot or two, who knows? None visible to the naked eye yet, though.

A few leaves on our compost bin, in line to be shredded. Spot free.

Sometimes Nature heals itself.


    1. Good to hear it, Yvonne. They do say it’s a cyclical problem. So perhaps we’re in the off-cycle. Long may it continue.

  1. Wow – I hadn’t noticed that. Sounds almost too good to be true! It’s raining right now but I’ll be checking that out as soon as it lets up. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had seen the last of it? I’m wondering if our super hot, prolonged summer had anything to do with it.

    1. Perhaps the weather did have something to do with it. Or perhaps it had just run its course. Either way, I’ll take it. Be sure to report back once you’ve had a chance to inspect, Margaret.

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