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?
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 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.
Sometimes Nature heals itself.