Should you worry about leaf scars when selecting new plants? Are bundle scars problematic for your existing plants? Below, our team at SoutheastTree, your professional tree service in Sandy Springs, answers your questions about these annoying blemishes and discusses everything you need to know. 

Are Leaf Scars a Sign of Disease? 

Leaf scars are typically harmless and prove that the plant is quite resilient. There are several reasons for them, including animal damage, physical injury, or weather damage. In a small number of cases, a modern plant specimen might have leaf scars as a sign of a fungal infection. 

The key to determining health is to see how much unaffected leaf tissue there is. If you see a complete fossil leaf rather than the odd mark, the damage might be worse than you realize. 

What Are Leaf Scars?

What a leaf scar is depends on your school of thought. There are two distinct meanings: 

  • A hole that healed but still shows signs of damage. These are good signs because they show that the plant is healing as it should. A diseased tree would typically not be able to recover and would often lose the leaf instead. 
  • The term may also refer to the scars that leaf drop leaves on the branches or twigs of perennial trees. In some instances, the mark left behind is the only way to tell which subspecies of tree is in front of you. 

How Do Plants Get Scars?

Trees are vulnerable to wounds like other living things. A small bump can damage the bark of a sapling, leaving a nasty scar. You also often see these marks on trees in areas with extreme weather, like hail and strong winds. You may also see these as an after-effect of pest damage. 

On the subject of pest damage, examine the leaf for signs of live insects. Leaf-mining insects leave tiny larvae behind, and these leave a more distinctive track. 

If the damage is surface-deep, there is an excellent chance of recovery. However, if it extends into the vascular bundles, recovery is less certain. In this case, it’s best to reach out to tree care professionals.

With leaf drop, things are slightly different. The leaf falls off, leaving an open wound. However, the tree prepares for this and can form a scab relatively easily. 

Can You Prevent Leaf Scars? 

You can try to keep the tree safe by placing it in a sheltered area. Aside from that, you can try and keep pests and animals away from it. It’s also helpful not to relocate the tree if you can manage it; however, there’s nothing you can do to guarantee you won’t see any marks. 

Ask yourself if it really matters. The tree will shed that leaf eventually, so it won’t blight your garden for long. 

Do Leaf Scars Harm the Tree?

No, the scars are a sign that your tree healed itself. What’s more important is to check for signs of an active insect infestation or disease. The scarring will be just one indicator of many in these cases. 

If you buy your plants from a reputable nursery, they are likely to be healthy, so you shouldn’t let blemishes put you off. 

Contact the Experts Today!

Would you like confirmation about what caused the leaf scars on your trees? You may well if you have several trees that are infested. Alternatively, you may need assistance in choosing the best possible specimens. 

SoutheastTree is the leading tree service provider in Sandy Springs and the surrounding areas. Contact us at 770-977-8733 to schedule service today!


SoutheastTree is one of the best, top rated full-service tree removal companies serving the Atlanta, GA area. Our team of trained arborists are experts in the art and science of removing trees.

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4710 Lower Roswell Rd. Suite 100
Marietta, GA 30068

Phone : 770-977-8733 (TREE)

24/7 Emergency Tree Removal:
(678) 631-7382

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