University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers

Fungal Disease

Witchhazel Leaf Spot
Phyllosticta hamamelidis

4 (1 = rare 5 = annual)
3 (1 = very little damage 5 = plants killed)
Phyllosticta hamamelidis often causes leaf blight on the witchhazels.

Plants Affected
Spots tend to be irregular brown shaped spots with purplish edges on the upper leaf surface. At the same time, there is a lighter brown spot on the lower surface. Spots may merge to cause larger brown dead areas (blight) that can encompass the entire leaf. This disease tends to make witchhazel an undesirable, up-close landscape plant.

Life Cycle
The pathogen overwinters on dead plant material. It is spread to new plant tissue by wind and rain.

Follow good sanitation practices.

Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic