Problem with Korean Maple

Asked June 8, 2019, 5:05 PM EDT

My Korean maple has some branches where the leaves are drying up and falling off. Several branches look dead. What should I do? Any suggestions? Do you know what could be the problem? A deer did scrape some bark off one side of the trunk last winter.

Washington County Minnesota

7 Responses

Thanks for the question.

You did not say how much of the bark had been removed by deer. If it was 50% or more of the circumference of the trunk, then your maple has probably been severely compromised. Visual evidence of the damage generally begins at the top of a tree since that is the site of intensive growth and nutrient utilization. You could remove dead branches now so as to minimize the possibility of fungal infection. However I would also suggest that you have a professional, licensed arborist do an on-site evaluation. Here is an excellent University of Minnesota publication describing how to identify such an individual:

Good luck!!

The deer only scraped a small spot. It doesn't go all around the tree.
I will get an arborist to come and look at the tree.


Thanks for the update. One other thought. The damage to your maple might also reflect last January's exceptionally deep cold where there was minimal snow cover. We have been receiving many reports of winter damage to ornamental trees and shrubs. It is possible that selective removal of the dead branches might restore some degree of shape to the tree. If these branches are completely dead, they could be removed now.

Good luck

We have an arborist coming Friday to look at the tree, so we will see what he says too. Thanks again!

If you have the time and chance, please respond back to us as to his/her suggestions.

The arborists says the tree was damaged from the deer scrapping the bark and it also has white fungus. He recommended cutting out the dead branches but it will probably die within two years.

I was afraid of that. His prediction seems correct.

Sorry about that