Ask a Question forum: Mature Sugar Maple early dieback, possible disease?

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Feb 8, 2017 2:28 AM CST
Hello everyone!

I have a 35 year old sugar maple in the front garden, and curiously showed disparate autumn colours on two main branches following a wet summer. This year, the same two regions of the the tree (upper right, and lower left in the photograph) hold leaves displaying a lighter shade of green, and the leaves themselves up close show browining around the inner centres of the leaves, with the outer edges looking more or less fine (included in another photo). I'd say it was drought, but the same occurred last year with good rainfall (during 5 consecutive years of good rain, approximately 750-850mm). What could cause leaf browning from the center outwards, and an early autumn for only some branches? I'm hopeing it's simply a water or nutrient problem, but fear the worst. Any help would be immensely appreciated!

Thanks in advance

Ps. Regional information - soil pH=4.2-4.8, rainfall 750-850mm, max & min temperatures 39C and -9C respectively.
Thumb of 2017-02-08/Mattjc452/46133c
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Feb 8, 2017 6:17 AM CST
I think the two branches have something wrong in the circulatory system, maybe Verticillium wilt. I'm not a pro, but I have had this on a couple of maples, and it seemed to fit description.. Those two branches may die, but the rest of the tree may go on for some time.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
[Last edited by sallyg - Feb 8, 2017 6:21 AM (+)]
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