Around this time of year, you might notice that your maple tree leaves develop black spots. But, what are they?

According to Gardening Know How, the spots are the result of "tar spot" disease, which is caused b a fungus. Don't worry, though. It's very common, and only the leaves -- NOT the tree -- are affected.

The black spots usually appear towards summer's end after the fungus, which is spread on the wind, has time to take hold.

But is there a way to stop the "tar spot" disease? Well, the answer is "kind of." Experts suggest you rake and eliminate your leaves either by burning them or composting them. That greatly reduces the number of spores that remain in the area and could reinfect the tree next year.

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