My question is about a sugar maple tree in my yard. I suspect the tree may...

Asked July 1, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT

My question is about a sugar maple tree in my yard. I suspect the tree may have verticulum wilt and would like to know how to definitely diagnose the problem. This spring in early May some of the leaves began to curl and look scorched. The stress is seen on the edges of leaves as they brown and curl. I do not see grayish-white patches on the bole of the tree or its limbs as is sometimes noted with verticulum wilt. The scorching has progressed to the point that the entire tree, approx. 30-40 ft. tall and about 25 years old, is looking very stressed. It has lost perhaps 20% of its leaf cover with a large majority of the remaining foliage showing scorching. As I think back to past years, I can recall that there was some early color change and leaf loss on one portion of the tree, but as I stated, the entire tree seems to now be affected. This spring I also noticed a fairly large infestation of what I think was lacaneum scale. We were thinking about spraying for scale, but the tree is really too large to do so effectively. So that issue was just left alone. This maple is about 25 feet away from another much smaller red maple....the small tree shows no sign of any stress. Another 20 feet or so from the affected tree is an 8-year old buckeye and it looks great too. I'm not sure who to call in south central MN to help diagnose the problem. Then, if it is verticulum wilt, how long should I wait to see the damage? Do I want to wait another year? Complicating the matter is the fact that this is my 11-year old daughter's "pet" tree, Mabel. She climbs Mable daily and gets her solace from sitting in Mabel's branches. She is heartbroken with the thought that Mable may be dying. I will appreciate any and all advice!! Attached photos are from early May.

Waseca County Minnesota

1 Response

If this tree has verticillium wilt it is not likely to survive. It should be removed sooner rather than later. All fallen leaves and debris from the removal should be cleaned up and disposed of in the trash - not the compost.

Here are some links that may help you with a diagnosis, but a certified arborist is the best way to proceed: