What is wrong with my red maple tree?

Asked July 23, 2014, 6:47 PM EDT

About mid-July, my red maple tree began to change color and lose leaves. It is turning light yellow and has many brown leaves as well. Many of the leaves that have fallen off are brown around the edges. The tree is on a hill, and the soil where it is planted contains a lot of clay. I just pruned the tree a year and a half ago. Why is this happening, and how can I nurse the tree back to health?

Hennepin County Minnesota

3 Responses

If the tree is new to your landscape, it could be recovering from being transplanted in the last couple of years. If it is a well-established tree, the problem may be the result of heat and wind. Trees thrive with about an inch of rain a week. If adequate rainfall does not occur, trees should be watered. Some leaf scorch and leaf drop is normal in mid-summer.

I need more help on how to fix my maple tree.it is a red maple and it has already lost about a third of its leaves. The neighbors red maple has a dark green leaves and is very full. My red maple leaves that are left are all turning light yellow. it looks like fall in my yard. this tree dropped its leaves early last year about August and now it is dropping them even earlier. many lower branches are now bare.this tree is at least 5 to 10 years old.

The condition of your tree sounds very poor. I recommend hiring an arborist to evaluate the tree and recommend treatment. It may have a disease in its root system or it may have something called stem girdling root that is choking off its supply of food to the leaves.