Sick maple tree

Asked July 8, 2019, 10:46 AM EDT

I have a maple tree that I planted in 2002. This is representative of leaves on the tree. Can you tell me what is making it do this please. And then you'll put in your your email there

Monroe County Michigan maple trees maples

1 Response

This is a red maple and it has chlorosis, which is the yellowing of the leaves brought on by alkaline soils (high pH). All that means is that in soil that are alkaline certain plants like red maple, pin oaks, rhododendrons cannot get the nutrients they need to function properly. Often with red maples it is a micro-nutrient (nutrient used in very small amounts) such as manganese becomes deficient. Iron and manganese can be the problem on red maple. If the yellowing is on the older leaves and the newest leaves on ends of branch are much better then the deficiency is manganese. Iron deficiency is reversed, much worse on new growth. Usually micro-nutrients can be found in the soil but in high pH soils it stops being available by these plants. Changing the pH is not effective as only small amounts of sulfur can be added to the soil each year and of course cannot be incorporated into soils where plants are already growing. Additions of chelated manganese to the soil, added as the leaves are developing in spring can green up the leaves to some degree. See the following article:
A soil test would show the pH level to verify this. Soil tests for home landscapes and gardens can be purchased through the Monroe MSU Extension office. You might want to call ahead for their office hours at
963 S. Raisinville Road Monroe, MI 48161

Phone: 734-240-3170