Death of a 30 year old maple tree

Asked September 15, 2016, 7:55 AM EDT

Is there a blight in PA that would cause a 30 year old maple tree to suddenly die? There is some light green scaley material on one side of the trunk and some greener moss on the other side. When it first got leaves in the spring they were sparse and quickly turned brown and fell off. Hoping that this won't happen to another red maple tree on the property.

Indiana County Pennsylvania

1 Response

There is no specific "blight" that is effecting maple trees. The death of the 30 yr old maple could be caused by a number of issues including girdling roots below the soil line, a root rot or vascular disease such as verticillum that is soil borne. The light green scaly material on the trunk could just be a lichen (does not harm the tree) or it could be a fungal fruiting structure (mushroom/conk) from a decay fungi working on the tree. Can't tell without seeing it.

Best suggestion would be to contact an ISA Certified Arborist in your area and have them evaluate the dying tree and the healthy red maple that you are concern about. There is a search engine that will help you find a certified arborist in your area using your zipcode.