Maples are one of the most popular trees in the country and usually considered one of the best choices to use in your landscaping. They can be great ornamental or shade trees, will grow in many different conditions, and will provide beautiful fall foliage when the leaves change color. However, if you notice that your maple’s leaves are dying, it could be a sign that your tree has a health problem. But, thankfully, this doesn’t necessarily mean the tree is beyond hope. If you start to notice dying maple leaves early enough, you could potentially save the whole tree. Read on below for some expert tips on what to do when you notice your maple tree leaves dying.
The best way to save the tree is to figure out what is causing the leaves to die in the first place. Often, the culprit will be a kind of fungal disease, such as Verticilliumwilt or anthracnose, which are the two most common ones. Some fungal diseases could cause brown spots on the leaves, while others show different symptoms.
Anthracnose is found in shade trees like maples and typically affects the center of the leaves. The leaves can appear to have brown or purplish-brown spots and/or a purplish-brown color that surrounds their veins. The leaves can curl around the brown spots, before ultimately crumbling and falling off. One sign that your tree may have this disease is if the leaves seem to be falling off prematurely. It can occur after especially cold and wet winters, and because of that, anthracnose is sometimes confused with frost damage.
Raking dead leaves, pruning affected branches, and providing a proper amount of moisture can help prevent and treat this disease. Removing the fallen leaves and properly disposing of them is especially important because fallen leaves are the ideal breeding ground for the fungus.
Of course, we all know that tree leaves turn different colors in the fall. However, if your maple tree leaves are turning fall colors when it is still summer, that could be a sign of a problem. This could mean the tree has Verticilliumwilt, which is the most serious and threatening of the fungal diseases.
If the tree does have Verticilliumwilt, the leaves will appear to be dying from the crown down. They may also appear to be wilting and yellowish, and the dying leaves might only be concentrated in one area or side of the tree. Verticilliumwilt is also known as maple wilt, and if not taken care of, it can be very serious and ultimately kill the maple trees. It starts in the roots and then works its way into the upper branches of the maple tree.
It comes from soil-bound fungi, known as Verticillium albo-atrumor Verticillium dahliae. So fumigating the soil can potentially help treat the problem. Trees are usually most at risk for this disease after an especially dry and hot summer, such as in July or August. It’s most commonly found on sugar, silver, red, and Japanese maple trees.
The best way to prevent the problem from becoming worse can be to prune affected branches. And keeping the tree properly watered can help it to heal. If the tree is beyond repair, however, you may ultimately need to get rid of it. If that’s the case, make sure to have a professional tree service, such asMr. Tree, do the tree removal.
The fungal disease known asmaple tree tar spotcauses large, circular, black, tar-like spots and discoloration. The leaves might have one of these spots or several. The spots are also usually surrounded by a yellow ring. While the black spots may look very alarming, it’s thankfully a mostly harmless disease. It can be prevented by raking up any of the dead leaves and debris that are around the maple tree’s base.
Powdery mildew causes the leaves to be covered with a white, powdery, almost flour-like coating. This fungal disease usually occurs during hot and humid summers. Sooty moldis when a powdery black coating appears on the leaves. This can potentially be brushed off the leaves.
Leaf scorch occurs when the leaves appear to suddenly dry out and turn brown, first at the edges and then the whole leaf. It’s typically found on Japanese maples. This isn’t a fungal disease; rather, it’s usually caused by too much sun and not enough water. Sometimes just making sure the tree is properly watered, especially during the warm and dry months, can be enough. But you may want to attempt to move the tree to a place that will provide more shade. If you decide to transplant your tree, it’s usually best to do it in the winter and to start with the proper preparation.
Other problems could be related to certain insects, such as eriophyid mites or spider mites. Eriophyid mites can be taken care of by pruning the infested branches. Spider mites are more likely to appear on dry or dusty trees, so simply making sure to water the trees can help prevent infestations.
Unbalanced Soil pH
If you don’t think the issue is a fungal disease or insects, you could try doing a soil pH test. If the soil is polluted or has too much salt, it could cause maple tree leaves to die. There are certain solutions you can try, such as adding additional water to rinse out saline soil. If the soil is too acidic, try adding limestone. If it is too alkaline, try sulfur.
The best way to avoid maple tree leaves dying is to plant the trees in the best environment for them to thrive. And always makes sure to give the trees the best care and maintenance. When a tree is properly watered and fertilized, these issues are much less likely to occur. Keep the area around the trees clean. If you do notice anything out of the ordinary, call a tree service as soon as possible.
Regular pruning will definitely help prevent disease that could lead to your maple tree leaves dying. And it helps trees to heal. However, keep in mind that it’s usually best to leave tree pruning to the professionals. If an amateur attempts to do so and ends up making a mistake, it could permanently damage the maple tree and lead to additional problems. If you need professional help, either with pruning or other tree services, you can always contact us at Mr. Tree. You can find outmore information on our website.