The Q&A Archives: Norway Maple Tree Disease

Question: Our Norway Maple tree has started to lose it leaves and they have small black dots on the back of the leaf. Is it because we (in zone 5) have had a cool wet spring? The tree is about 25 years old. What is thes disease, and what should we do? Will we lose the tree?

Answer: Norway Maples (Acer platanoides) are susceptible to a wide number of fungal and bacterial leaf problems, and a cool wet spring can certainly contribute to their development. Some of these are quite serious and some are not. Unfortunately, it's risky to try and diagnose your tree's problem without actually seeing the leaves. You may wish to take a sample leaf and small branch to your local County Extension office (ph# 412/350-2540) to obtain a positive identification of the problem and their current recommendations (if any) for treating it. As long as your maple is well grown, and not a newly planted or young sapling, it can tolerate leaf loss without too much damage - I've seen trees completely defoliated by gypsy moths leaf out fully the next year. Good luck!

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