Red maple leaves died suddenly

Asked August 14, 2017, 5:38 PM EDT

The leaves on our 30-year-old red maple suddenly crinkled up and turned brown a couple weeks ago. There are a few branches on the lower limbs that still have red leaves. A landscaper mentioned he's seen 5 or 6 red maples in the area die suddenly this summer. We were having some chainsaw carving done in the yard and I wondered if the saw dust might have caused the leaves to die. Any ideas? Should we wait to see if it comes back next spring before taking it down?

Montgomery County Maryland japanese maples red japanese maple

3 Responses

This is a Japanese maple. (Red maples are actually a big native shade tree. We only mention this because the landscaper could be confusing the two species.)

At any rate, there is no particular problem affecting Japanese maples now. They are known for dying relatively quickly for no obvious reason. However, this tree looks like it has rough and cracked or damaged bark at the base (which would kill most everything above that spot eventually.)

Also, we do not see any flare (where the trunk widens out at the base). The flare of a tree should be visible and not covered by soil, or a tree will slowly die.

This tree will not come back. It may send up a shoot from below the damaged bark. Your best bet is to replace it.


Thank you for the response!