Holly Tree Leaves Have Small Black Spots

Question From: D. Carver - Newnan, Georgia, United States
Q: I have a row of 8 holly trees planted three years ago.They are now 7 ft tall and putting out buds on almost all branches small and large. This Spring for the first time small,about the size of a pin head,dark usually oval black spots are appearing. I believe after gthey have been there a few day a white concentrice small cirecl appear completely around the black pot. I can remove some black spots with m y fingernail and others I must sort of dig it out with me fingernail. When the white circle appears it is easy to remove them. Some leaves have one and others have six or eight. No consistency of location or number. They do not appear near center stem of the leaf but more towards out leaf area. Isee no signs of animal life. What chemical spray do you recommend I spray with. They are growing in number. I greatly do appreciate your taking the time to assist me. Thank you. David B Carver

A: If these were my hollies I would get and onsite inspection from a certified arborist. Black spots are usually caused by disease. Hollies of that size are difficult to treat properly with small sprayers. Professionals have the proper equipment and chemicals, unavailable to homeowners. You have a big investment in these shrubs and a bad guess as to what the problem is could be very costly. To find a professional in your area, go to www.tcia.org and enter your zipcode. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy