The Q&A Archives: Maple Tree Leaves Turning Brown

Question: The leaves on my golden green maple tree are turning tan. Help please?

Answer: Maple Leaf Scorch is a common problem with maples. It's environmental; when drought or heat stresses the tree, not enough water reaches the leaf margins to keep up with transpiration. Or, the symptoms can be from from overfertilization. In your gardening region the bacterium Xyella fastidiosa has been associated with these symptoms, as well. Try to avoid over feeding (especially if the tree is growing in the lawn). Water deeply, and try to avoid root and trunk injury. Another common problem with maples is Anthracnose, a fungal disease. Symptoms vary, but generally include spots or blotches on the leaves, not tan coloring. Severely diseased trees can defoliate early and cankers on twigs and branches are evident. Check your maple thoroughly for these lesions or cankers to rule out Anthracnose. While these are only suggestions, one of the problems might fit with the symptoms you're seeing. You might try taking a sample to your local Cooperative Extension office for their expert advice.

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