Maple tree ill

Asked June 15, 2020, 6:04 PM EDT

Our Maple tree in our yard has light green colored leaves instead of dark green like the other one about 70 feet from it in the same yard. Leaves are thin with some branches not having many. I have attached pictures of the ill tree and the one that is 70 feet from it. We have one younger Maple in our back yard that appears completely dead this year also. We would appreciate any help you could give us to save this tree. The last photo is of the healthy tree. Thank You, Cindy Lawrence

Grand Traverse County Michigan

1 Response

Hello Cindy,
Your maple with the light green leaves appears to be a red maple, Acer rubrum, and these maples need an acid soil pH in order to maintain good deep green color. The soil 70 feet away could be a totally different type of soil. Other types of maples are typically not sensitive to soil pH, perhaps the healthy maple is another type.
All maples have another common problem which can cause die back that is called girdling roots. I can’t clearly see the base of the trunk of your light green tree. I am attaching an article that describes girdling roots.

There are many other things that will cause maples die back including verticillium wilt and cankers on branches. Long periods of flooded soil, or long droughts also cause dieback.
First get a soil test of the soil around the red maple. They want Soil pH slightly below 7.0.

If your soil pH is higher than 7.0 the tree will need to be treated for chlorosis.In red maples this is manganese chlorosis. Here is an article describing that condition and what can be done-

Another cause of yellowing leaves is flooded root zone. A certified arborist can aerate the root zone, if needed. He/she can also treat for chlorosis. To hire a certified arborist, a professional who has taken training in care, diseases, pests and passed certification tests, search by zip code here—-