CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - This has not been the best fall for colorful leaves, and in fact some leaves are down right ugly and you can blame the fungus black tar spot, or tar spot.
"It's not causing any harm necessarily. It's not anything that's killing the trees," said Jeff Mueller a Lawn and Garden Department Manager with Petitte Garden Center. "It happens periodically. Certain years you'll see it more than others."
The fungus is specific to maple trees and is a signal the tree has been stressed.
What could stress out a tree?
According Mueller it's the weather we've been having.
Our humid summer, followed by a late summer drought, followed by nights of heavy dew will do it.
That mix of weather is also to blame for the lack vibrant colors on all trees this year.
"The trees are dropping leaves before we get those beautiful colors. Trees are just shutting down," said Mueller.
There's really nothing that can be done about the black tar spot fungus before it happens, but there is something you need to do to try an keep it from happening next year.
"Clean up the leaves really good in the fall and that can try and keep it from happening again next year," advised Mueller.