Oak: Anthracnose

categories: Oak Oak Diseases Ornamental trees Ornamentals

revision date: 2022-11-25 12:33

against a black background, oak leaf exhibits brown, dead, dying area.


Oak anthracnose is a fungal disease of leaves and twigs of many species of oak. Typical symptoms include the presence of small to large brown lesions on the leaves, usually along the midrib or main veins. Half or more of a leaf may be killed. Young leaves may be severely deformed (curled, puckered, or twisted) by infections occurring during development. Twigs may develop cankers and die back. The fungus may be visible as small brown specks on the lower surface of infected leaves or as pustules on infected twigs. Infections of mature, more resistant leaves are often limited to small brown spots. Premature leaf drop may occur. The disease is favored by prolonged moisture at the time leaves are developing. Symptoms first appear on lower part of tree and progress upward. The fungus may infect and girdle twigs causing dieback.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Rake and destroy fallen leaves during summer and fall.
  • Prune and destroy diseased branches, when practical, to reduce overwintering of disease.
  • Do not compost diseased material.
  • Avoid overhead watering.
  • Species in the black oak group are resistant to anthracnose.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • If fungicides are needed, apply in spring during budbreak and early shoot growth when wet weather is expected.
  • Chlorothalonil products are registered for RED OAKS ONLY!
  • Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall.
  • Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.