Answer: Maple trees can develop both fungal and bacterial diseases. If you're finding cankers on twigs as well as blackened leaves, it might be the fungal disease Anthracnose. If twigs and branches are dying back and there are black spots on the leaves, it could be Pseudomonas, a bacterial disease. Tar Spots is a fungus that affects maple leaves and the leaves begin with brownish colored water soaked spots which later turn black. Without knowing exactly how the leaves look I can't positively identify the problem, or suggest a control. Why not take a sample of the problem to your local Cooperative Extension office for a diagnosis and recommendation? You didn't list your county so I can't provide a local phone number. Contact University of Illinois at (217) 333-5900 for a list of Extension Offices near your hometown. Best wishes with your maple tree.
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