What Tampa Residents Should Know about Leaf Scars on Trees

When are wounds on tree leaves something to worry about? Does a leaf scar mean your tree is in trouble? 

In this post, Arborist Aboard, your highly rated arborist in the city of Tampa, explains more about this scarring on leaves and when to worry.

Is Your Tree Sick? 

If you’re seeing leaf scars and asking about your tree’s health, typically, you can take a deep breath and relax. When you learn about plant anatomy, you’ll come to appreciate the marks on leaves as signs that your tree has successfully healed itself and is resilient.

The damage might be due to animals, physical injury, or weather. In rare instances, scars on leaves can also be a sign of fungal disease. However, you’d then notice the marks spreading over a whole leaf. 

Does the scar affect the entire leaf? Don’t hesitate to call a tree expert.

What Are Leaf Scars?

In trees, a leaf scar might fall into one of two categories: holes and bundles.

  • A hole in the leaf: Holes are usually due to physical damage. These should heal over quite quickly–a good sign because a diseased tree can’t heal itself easily.
  • Bundle scars in leaves: Scars on the bark rather than on the leaves are from when the leaf dies because the vascular bundle shuts down. It also happens when axillary buds fall off. Looking at the shape of these scars may help an arborist to identify trees with a deeper problem.

How Do Your Trees Get Scars?

Leaf drop is a completely natural process and nothing to worry about. When the leaf falls off, it leaves an open wound, which the tree quickly seals over. However, like other living things, trees get hurt. 

Haven’t you accidentally slashed the bark when trimming your edges or seen a stone kick up when mowing the lawn? Leaves sustain physical damage because of debris in strong winds or hail, too. 

Of course, there is more concern if you see insect damage, especially signs that something has been eating the leaves. Root out the problem early. Why not let an arborist come and look for signs of insect activity while it’s still in its early stages and ensure your tree can recover?

Leaf-mining insects are the most destructive. They’ll move from the leaf into the vascular bundles, causing significant damage as they bore in and lay their eggs. When dealing with insects or diseases, particularly during the growing season, you should call a tree expert.

Can You Prevent Leaf Scars?

It’s not easy to prevent leaf scars in your trees. You could try the following:

  • Plant the tree in a sheltered area. 
  • Keep an eye on the tree to ensure that pests leave it alone.

At the end of the day, though, does it really matter if your tree has a couple of damaged leaves? Your tree has a rich covering of foliage, so one blighted leaf might not make much difference. As long as you know the signs of disease to look for, it’s all part of the natural life cycle of your tree and its ecosystem.

Should I Worry About Leaf Scars?

No, you shouldn’t worry about leaf scars. This is a sign that your tree is healthy enough to heal itself. 

Have you noticed a few scars? Check for insects or diseases as a precaution. In the absence of these, leaf scars don’t do any harm at all. 

Contact Our Team for Expert Tree Advice

Would you like a firm diagnosis about what caused that leaf scar? Call Arborist Aboard at 813-920-4410 for a certified arborist to put your mind at ease or advise you about other aspects of tree health.


Arborist Aboard is owned and operated by an ISA Certified Arborist and a second-generation tree care professional. We take great pride in our work and the customers we serve, commercial and residential.

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8611 Vivian Bass Way
Odessa, FL. 33556

(813) 920-4410

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