Vegetable Gardening
Q.

Is it bad to use/put leaves with black tar spot disease in vegetable garden?

Zone 44124 | Anonymous added on November 15, 2019 | Answered

I like to use leaves in my vegetable garden for fertilizer over the winter but my trees have black tar leaf disease and I would like to know if it is best to avoid those leaves, thanks.

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GKH_Susan
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 15, 2019

There is not a simple yes or no answer. There are some considerations.

It is not likely that the black tar spot disease with be transmitted to the vegetable plants. If it is maple black tar spot, the disease infects maples and not necessarily other plants.

But the big consideration is: if the maple trees are in the vicinity of the veggie garden where you are spreading the infected leaves, that the spores will be transmitted back into the maple tree new growth in spring.

It is safer to compost or dispose of the infected leaves.

"Start by raking all your maple’s fallen leaves and burning, bagging or composting them to eliminate the closest source of tar spot spores. If you leave the fallen leaves on the ground until spring, the spores on them will likely re-infect the new foliage and start the cycle again."
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/maple/maple-tar-spot-disease.htm

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