Composting Sycamore leaves?

Dorothy Jervis asked 7 years ago

When raking up some leaves today I came to a pile of sycamore leaves. Most of these have black spots on them. My question is: Is it ok to add them to my leaf compost heap? Or is this a fungus that will infect plants where the leaf-mould is used?

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 3 years ago
The black spots on sycamore are caused by a fungus and known as ‘tar spot’. The fungus in the spots produces spores that re-infect young leaves in spring.

However, an efficient compost heap that heats up and rots down the leaves carrying the fungus-infected spots will destroy the spores. Spores are more likely to be transferred by uncomposted leaves left lying on the ground.

Though unsightly, tar spot is not a severe disease and only affects sycamore. 

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