Answer: From the symptoms you describe, I'd say your maple is affected by verticillium wilt. It's a soilborne fungus that attacks and infects plant roots, grows through the vascular system, and eventually reaches all the tissues. Infected tissues die. Maples are susceptible to verticillium wilt, as are oaks, raspberries, roses, tomato plants, and many others. The fungus is persistent in the soil, so choose resistant plants rather than replanting maples in the same spot.
Before taking any drastic measures with your maple, though, why not take a section of an affected branch to your local Cooperative Extension office for a positive identification? (606) 257-5582 One of the classic symptoms of verticillium is a brownish or blackish streak in the wood. Look carefully for this sign and prune out all affected wood. Be sure to disinfect your pruners after each cut. Good luck with your maple!
Q&A Library Searching Tips