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Maple Tree Diseases

Mayuri Kulkarni Feb 8, 2019
There are a number of factors that can harm the growth of the Maple plant. Here is some information on the various Maple tree diseases.
Maple trees belong to genus Acer, and are found in the North Temperate zone. These are popular in landscaping and are of various types each with unique characters. They are used as lumber for construction and furniture. The main feature making them different from others is the shape of their leaves.

Diseases Affecting The Maple Tree

Maples are susceptible to various diseases caused due to pests, insects, and fungus. Each one requires different soil and climatic conditions. Hence, to avoid diseases, maple tree planting should be done with the use of appropriate soil. Let us look at the different diseases that typically affect the maple trees.


The scientific name being Colletotrichum spp, this is a class of tree diseases, which is a result of fungi attack. Each of the anthracnose disease affects only specific trees. Other than maple, it also affects other trees like the white oak, elm, and dogwood.
In case of maple tree, it affects the leaves and branches, forming purple-brown spots along the veins, and dark brown ones between veins. The disease is caused due to prolonged cold and moist weather. It damages buds, twigs and leaves. Removal of the affected leaves, twigs, and branches and using fungicide is one of the solutions but needs expert help.

Tar Spot

One of the most harmless disease of the maple tree, causing unsightly spots on the leaves due to fungal pathogens. It does not cause serious consequences to the health of the tree, but creates ugly tar spots. The spots are initially yellow, and gradually turn black in color.
Norway maple, Silver maple, and Sugar maple are usually affected by this disease. The upper surface of the leaves get affected in spring, and may lead to the falling of leaves, before fall. Since the disease is not harmful, no treatment is usually recommended.

Maple Wilt

Also called verticillium wilt, it is considered the most dangerous disease. Verticillium is the fungus that is soil borne, and has been responsible for killing several maples. It attacks the vascular system of the tree.
There are no symptoms of the fungus in the soil which attacks the tree through the roots. The leaves of an affected tree turn brown or yellow, and the color of sapwood is olive. The disease has the potential to destroy a well-grown maple tree leaving the only solution to cut the tree. This will avoid the disease spreading to the other maples in the area.
Norway maples are most susceptible to wilting. The others that are affected are Sugar maple, Japanese maple, and Silver maple.


Sugar maples are affected by this disease, caused by the fungus ceratocystis coerulescens leading to serious damage. Initially, it is not serious, but if it grows further, it can cause a serious threat to the maple. The wood fades, and hence, the tree is not useful for lumber once affected by this disease. The only solution to this is to cut down the tree.
As prevention is always better than cure, protect your maple tree before it is affected by any of the mentioned diseases. Good tree care is the only solution to prevent them. Water the tree regularly, use fertilizers and pesticides, and in case of any infection, take immediate action by consulting an expert.