Bacterial Leaf Scorch Description:

Bacterial leaf scorch, also known as Marginal leaf burn, is a chronic and systemic disease mostly affecting oaks and maples. This fatal condition is sometimes mistaken for Oak wilt or Dutch elm disease, or drought and heat stress. There is no cure.


Bacterial leaf scorch is most often found in pin oak, red oak, shingle oak, and white oak. It is also found in elm, mulberry, pecan, red maple, sugar maple, and sycamore.

Biology & Symptoms:

What causes Bacterial leaf scorch? Bacterial leaf scorch is a relatively new disease thought to be caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. The bacteria invade the xylem tissues of the plant, restricting the flow of water from the roots to the crown. Symptoms include premature browning and leaf drop. This condition progressively worsens over a period of three to eight years.


A professional, laboratory diagnosis is the only way to confirm this disease. There is no cure for bacterial leaf scorch.

How Do You Treat Bacterial Leaf Scorch?

Trunk injections of antibiotics, proper irrigation, and mulching may reduce symptoms and slow disease progression. Pruning diseased tree branches has not proven effective.

See More Articles

Pest And Disease Chlorosis Banner 1440X500
Leaf or Needle Discoloration


Chlorosis is the result of a lack of chlorophyll production that may be caused by many conditions such as another disease, soil/water pH or nutritional imbalance, or tree wounds.
Read More
Pest And Disease Birch Leafminer Banner 1440X500
Leaf or Needle Discoloration

Birch Leafminer

Birch leaves develop brown, inflated blotches by mid to late spring. Leaves may be killed by small larvae inside the leaves that devour green tissues between the upper and lower surfaces.
Read More
DSC 8019
DSC 8019

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential needs.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!