I have a Red Maple in the backyard that is approx. 30 yrs. old. Last
there was dieback on two of the center branches. All the other
leafed out and looked OK. I went up on a ladder and had a look but
not detect anything. I scraped away some of the soil around the base of
tree and still could not find any girdling or insects/grubs. I
the tree in Nov. with 9-18-9.
This spring the Japanese Red Maple is in very bad shape. There is
lot more dieback in the center of the tree. Outer branches have leafed
There are splits in the branches and bark is peeling off the tree.
the bark is peeling the inner wood looks like it's getting sunscald or
discoloration happened first and caused the bark to peel off. The tree
also putting out new growth on the main trunk about 3 feet off the
I assume the tree is trying to save itself.
The only thing that I have found (on-line and Garden Club members)
seems to fit is something called Tight Bark Syndrome in Japanese
There doesn't seem to anything definite on what causes it or how to fix
Reasons range from patogens, generic, environmental and drought. Fixes
seem to be to careful pruning, low nitrogen fertilization and frequent
I'm looking for any information, suggestions or magic that you may
I'd hate to lose this beautiful tree.
I'd purchase a backup just in case. Hopefully not needed. If needed
may be prudent to change the tree location. I've a 35 year old and it
is going strong. Gave us many babies that are now scattered about our
home and they make great gifts. All different.
Bill Full moon lover.
S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
This article is posted under fair use rules in accordance with
You need to ask about this on the maple forum. Go to
and then maples. A lot of Maple Society folks hang around as
well as people in the trade.
I have only heard about Tight Bark in an anecdotal way. I've never
seen it mentioned in the literature. Not to say there's no such
thing, but take it for what it's worth.
Why not regular Verticillium wilt? You describe wood decoloration,
that's a symptom.
For a tree like this it's probably worth getting a local expert in to
take a look, and quickly.
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Thanks for the reply. Interesting Maple site. Will prowl around in
for awhile. I cut off one of the dead branches about 5-6 feet in
I split the wood and do not see any staining on the sapwood so I don't
think it's verticillum. Have a call in to cooperative extension, wil
talking with consultant on Monday.
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