I would like to plant a relatively fast growing Maple tree on my new property...

Asked November 19, 2013, 1:14 PM EST

I would like to plant a relatively fast growing Maple tree on my new property (after removing one or 2 of the numerous and messy walnut trees. My concern is that I have experience with another mature maple tree at my previous residence (about 1/2 mile away) where the leaves became smaller every year over the 8 years we lived on the property. We removed the tree to allow the other nearby Oak and Birch trees (which appeared healthy) better opportunity for growth. When the maple was cut - there was a dark brown discoloration pattern in the trunk which extended into the main branches (almost like an octopus shape appearance on the main trunk. An arborist told us that there was a disease affecting many of the maples in the region that had probably led to the decline of the tree. While I would love to plant a red maple on my property (I am trying as much as possible to use native plantings) I am concerned that it could succumb to the same fate. Can you provide any information to help me understand what caused the demise of the previous maple and if I need to be concerned regarding planting a new one on my current property. Thank you in advance! Lori Landis

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

Your previous maple tree died from Verticillium wilt disease. Since this disease persists in the soil, it would be advisable to select a Verticillium resistant tree species for planting in the same site, And, while it may not be necessary to select a resistant species for your new home-site, it is still a good idea.
It is not always best to select a fast-growing tree. Such trees typically have weaker wood and are not as stable as standard, medium or slow-growing trees.
You may find some appropriate suggestions in the following:
http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/450/450-619/450-619.html
LS