Taphrina Leaf Blister

Taphrina spp.

Key Features

  • Slight yellowing of the canopy
  • Blisters/ abnormal leaf growth
  • Fuzzy growth on blisters
Taphrina oak leaf blister
Taphrina, poplar leaf blister
Taphrina, cottonwood seed pod distortion


Taphrina infected tissues grow more rapidly than un-infected tissues. This causes small, white, green, or yellow blisters to form on young leaves. The blisters enlarge, become discolored, and occasionally die as the leaf develops. One side of each blister is covered with a light, powdery fungal growth.

Alder tongue. Photo by Lynn Martin.
Peach leaf curl
Plum pockets on Princess Kay plum


Cool, moist conditions are required for infection. Taphrina only infects young emerging leaf tissue in the spring. New spores are formed on the surface of the spots are blown to new buds where they remain dormant until the next spring. These spores stick to new leaves as they emerge. The fungus has only one infection period in the spring and does not continue to cause new spots later during the growing season.

Taphrina, gray-brown leaf spots and curling leaf edge

Management Recommendations

Fungicide application is not necessary because the leaves are rarely severely spotted and do not drop early. Although infections may be extensive some years, little damage actually results. To prevent spotting, a fungicide must be applied prior to bud break. Chlorothalonil can be applied late in dormancy. Once bud break has occurred and symptoms are visible, it is too late to spray. Always read and follow the directions on the fungicide label.

Effective Pesticides

Active Ingredients include: Chlorothalonil

landscape report
Purdue Landscape Report
Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory