I have a yellow-poplar that is losing its leaves. The leaves, both green and yellow, have black spots on their undersides. The yellow leaves are falling to the ground. It looks like fall in the middle of summer. What is wrong with my tree?

Gardens & Landscapes May 16, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
Yellow leaves, leaf spots, and leaf drop are very common on yellow-poplar (tuliptree, Liriodendron tulipifera) in the summer. This problem is caused by any of several fungal leaf spots, none of which are serious. See: Liriodendron tulipifera, Tuliptree. The premature leaf drop is somewhat alarming but will not harm the overall health of the tree. New leaves will sprout over the rest of the summer and replace some of the fallen leaves, although the leaf drop will continue. Fungicide sprays are not needed and are impractical except on very young trees.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.