Maple trees dying

Asked July 26, 2017, 1:20 PM EDT

I have 3 Sugar Maple trees dying and 2 died this spring, Spring die off trees started to leaf out but did not make it all the way, 3 that look like they are dying have very thin foliage, leaves are light green many with brown edges. Can I save these 3 trees, can I prevent what ever it is from spreading to my other maples. Thank you Jim

Ingham County Michigan

1 Response


Without seeing the internal staining inside the twigs and branches, this does look like verticillium wilt. ( links below discuss this in more detail) This disease must be confirmed by a lab test.

Several issues like flooding, drought, boring insects, verticillium wilt are possible causes of maple dieback. Since you have multiple trees involved I recommend having a professional, on site diagnosis. Sooner is better than later, as it is difficult to diagnose a completely dead tree, and if it is a treatable condition more trees can be saved.

Call a couple certified arborists in your zip code area for estimates of an on site diagnosis, lab sampling if needed, and complete tree care plan. Have all your trees examined. A certified arborist is not just a tree trimming service- he/she is a person who has been educated in diseases, pests and abiotic issues. Find arborists in your phone directory or here---

If hiring an arborist is not possible, you may submit samples to MSU Diagnostic lab for a small fee- usually about $20 per tree. I would call the lab and ask them what they need to confirm possible verticillium wilt disease. Their submission form, fee schedule and instructions on submitting samples are here---

Here are articles on wilt, its controls, and other common causes of dieback in maples---

Take action as soon as you can, and hopefully your trees can be protected. Thank you for using our service.