How To Treat Leaf Scars in Trees

Are leaf scars something you should worry about, or are they harmless? In this post, Tri-State Tree Service, your certified arborist in Panama City, FL, answers this question in greater detail. 

How Do Plants Get Scars? 

Trees can gain scars in many ways. In some cases, these are signs of a tree illness or physical damage. In other instances, they may point to a fungal infection. Finally, the tree bark scars when a leaf falls off. You don’t need to worry about any mark left aside from that of fungal infection. 

What Classifies as Leaf Scars?

Arborists typically classify leaf scars in one of two ways:

  • Holes that close over the damage. This is a good sign because it means the tree’s healthy enough to recover from a wound. If it isn’t, it will usually drop the leaf. 
  • As bundle scars when the leaf detaches from the bark. This mark is the place where the axillary buds for the leaves attach to the vascular bundles through a vein. When the leaf falls off, it leaves a small wound that the tree must then heal. This is why it is important to learn why leaves fall off trees.

Are These Scars Dangerous? 

You’ll need to examine the tree carefully for signs of insect or disease infestation. Pest damage often shows up on leaves as distinct bite marks rather than random holes, but it pays to turn the leaf over to see if there are any larvae on it. Also, check for signs of fungus, which would spread to more than one leaf. 

In both the above cases, you should act quickly to save the tree. If you’re not sure of the right course of action, contact us. If the wounds are only surface-deep, your tree is likely still in good shape. If it goes as far as the tree’s vascular bundle, you have an emergency situation. 

Other leaf scars are relatively harmless. For example, a bird may take a bite out of a leaf, or hail might batter the foliage. In either case, while the damage looks ugly, your tree should recover quite easily. The scars due to leaf drop are perfectly harmless because the tree’s ready for this process. 

Can You Stop These Scars? 

The odd leaf scar won’t harm your tree, so it’s not necessary to take preventative measures. However, you can plant it in a sheltered spot to shield it from hail or regularly treat it with pesticides to keep insects at bay. 

Do These Scars Hurt Your Tree?

No; on the contrary, you should worry if you don’t see the leaf heal itself. While the wound mars the surface, it’s a passing cosmetic affliction at best. So, don’t let it put you off buying an otherwise healthy specimen at a nursery. 

Contact Our Team for Expert Advice

Are you worried about leaf scars on your tree? Would you like to know how to protect trees from insects? Tri-State Tree Service has the answers you need. Call us at (850) 876-8003 to schedule a consultation with one of our certified arborists today!


Tri-State Tree Service is an award-winning business supplying premier tree removal, tree trimming, and other tree care services to Florida’s northwest & Alabama's southeast coastal regions.

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6146 Mobile Hwy.
Pensacola, FL 32526

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