Leaf fungus may dull region's fall foliage

October 1, 2008 7:33:53 AM PDT
Authorities say an unusual fungal disease afflicting sugar maples in Connecticut might dull some of the region's famous autumn foliage. The problem, known as fungal leaf spot, causes leaves to turn brown and drop before achieving their regular brilliant red, yellow and orange hues.

A scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station says it is not new, but is more problematic this year than she has seen in the past.

It also is occurring statewide, not in isolated spots.

Authorities say heavy spring and summer rain caused the fungal leaf spots, though it has no long-term affect on the health of the trees.

Several other tree species whose leaves contribute to New England's iconic fall foliage are not affected.

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