Answer: I think I would do some investigation before removing a 40 year old maple tree! You didn't mention any symptoms or sign of disease so I can't make a recommendation. If the tree is showing signs of stress, send us another question through this format with descriptions so we can try to diagnose the problem - or ask your gardener the name of the disease.
If your tree has wrinkled, wilted leaves, this is usually a sign of aphids. If you look closely, you may see small green insects on the leaves, or you may see the sticky honeydew they leave behind. Aphids can be controlled with an insecticide, or by introducing a natural predator, such as ladybugs.
Yellow or brown wilting leaves: If you notice this symptom in your Japanese Maple leaves, it is likely that your tree is affected by Verticillium Wilt, a fungal disease common to maples. You may even notice entire branches dying off. Prune out the affected branches, and fertilize with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
Lesions on branches and trunk: These lesions, called cankers, are caused by fungal infection. Left untreated, the tree will die. At the first sign of infection, prune out all affected branches. Prevention is key when it comes to canker disease. Try to prevent injury to the trunk bark to keep fungus from getting into the tree.
Reddish-brown lesions on leaves: These lesions will often spread and cause the leaves to die off. Gather and discard affected leaves, and feed and water the tree. Severe cases may require the use of a fungicide.
Hope to hear from you soon!
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