Problems with a Young Maple

Asked May 17, 2019, 3:33 PM EDT

I planted this October Glory Red Maple two years ago. Today I noticed that almost all the new growth on the tree is wilting. I had noticed dark brown spots on the tree's leaves in previous years, but they never seemed to bother the tree or slow it's growth. The wilting somehow seems more ominous. I also noticed pinhole sized holes in some of the leaves today. Again, they don't seem quite as troubling as the wilting, Is there anything I can/should do to help this tree cope with these problems?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

An insect called the potato leafhopper causes distorted tops on the new growth of the maple. This is a sucking insect and we are getting some landscape reports of this. Do not overfertilize the tree as this can increase populations. The tree can tolerate some feeding and no control is recommended. Here is general information on leafhoppers.

The brown spots on the leaves look like Phyllosticta leaf spot, which is caused by a fungus. It is relatively common on maples, but it does not cause major harm to the trees. You can prune out and dispose of affected leaves, if there are a few. You can rake any fallen leaves. No other treatment is required. Leaf spots can be variable from year to year depending on the weather.

In general, your tree looks pretty healthy. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the trunk. Water during dry periods.