I’ve been noticing an alarming number of denuded Sycamore trees around the state. Even the ancient Sycamores that line Post Road in Pawtuxet Village have lost their foliage. The cause of the leaf-drop can be traced to Sycamore Anthracnose. Anthracnose is a fungus that manifests in the Spring, affecting new leaf and twig growth. The mild Winter, coupled with the cool, wet Spring has contributed to a widespread outbreak of the fungus this year.
What to do
Trees are pretty resilient. Mature trees should rebound with little consequence. Younger, less established trees would benefit from some extra water during dry spells. The URI Cooperative Education Center in Kingston recommends cleaning up the affected leaf matter when it drops to inhibit the spread of the fungus. They also suggest pruning any dead wood from the trees, and applying a deep-root fertilization in the Fall. They don’t recommend the use of fungicide.