Does My Magnolia Tree Have Sooty Mold?

A few days ago, I posted an updated photo of our Saucer Magnolia tree in the front yard and mentioned this blight/mold/black stuff that is on quite a bit of the leaves.  You can see it in the photo above.  After digging around on the Web, I think that it might - or might not be Sooty Mold.  The University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension has a post up that is titled:  Non harmful tree conditions that catch your eye but require no management.  In the section on Sooty Mold, they provide the description and a photo that looks an awful lot like the one above.   Here's a screenshot:

But if you look elsewhere on the topic of Sooty Mold, the photos look totally different.  Most of the articles reference insects and/or aphids, which our Magnolia doesn't appear to have inhabiting it right now.  I also found this photo of something called Fungal Leaf Spot in the Science Photo Library, which isn't exactly what I am seeing on our leaves.   I'll keep poking around and see what I can confirm.  I hope that a hard winter, along with a season next year where I'm not constantly watering the grass (like I was this year when we were trying to get the sod established), this might not come back.  *Fingers crossed*.


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