2 silver maples by our ho... #189878 - Ask Extension

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2 silver maples by our ho... #189878

Asked June 10, 2014, 12:04 AM EDT

2 silver maples by our house the leaves are curling down and inward. Some of the leaves are also falling off. They are large trees and they provide shade for our home. No spots that I can see.

Logan County Ohio

Expert Response

Maples are subject to several infections.  
Yours may have anthracnose which is a fungus.  Anthracnose will grow in dead leaves not raked up over winter. Wet, cool springs like we had, canl encourage spore growth. Rain and wind help spread the spores. Silver maple trees suffering from anthracnose often have curled leaves with or without spots which appear in late spring/ summer. Anthracnose is seldom fatal.  
Another possibility is 
verticillium wilt.  This is characterized by wilting leaves and dying branches, from the picture you sent, I'd say this is the less likely of the two. If you peal back the bark  from a branch, sapwood on infected trees will exhibit dark green staining. Mild infections are not usually fatal.
for either condition, you can lightly fertilize your trees with 10-10-10 fertilizer, and make sure they get enough water in very dry weather. You can prevent recurrences of anthracnose by raking leaves in fall and removing from the area.
The University of Illinois Extension service has an excellent page on silver maple; 
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/hortanswers/plantdetail.cfm?PlantID=170&PlantTypeID=7 with more information on both of these conditions.
Vicki Motz - MGV Replied June 10, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT

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