Tatters move north!


Oak tatters symptoms advanced north into central Minnesota in 2002. For the first time, scattered pockets of oaks were affected in Stearns and Morrison Counties. Much of the area in southern Minnesota affected last year was free of tatters in 2002, including six counties where hackberry tatters occurred last year.

Tatters primarily affects the bur oaks but has also been observed in Minnesota on swamp white oak, eastern white oak, a few red oaks and on hackberry. Newly emerging leaves of affected trees have missing leaf tissue between the veins, which gives the leaves a lacy or tattered appearance. In some years large areas of the landscape have been affected in southern Minnesota. The current trend has seen a decline of affected oaks in the southeast and an increasing occurrence of hacbery in the southwest. Within a few weeks a new flush of leaves will appear and be free of the tatters symptoms and will remain unaffected throughout the season.

The long-term impact remains low. Early spring defoliation in deciduous trees is a recoverable stress given the opportunity for re-foliation and enough time to rebuild food reserves. The cause of tatters remains unknown.