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I Have A Red Maple Tree And The Leaves Are…

Matt Asked

I have a red maple tree and the leaves are dying. I put MiracleGro on it three days ago: what’s wrong with it?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Matt: Not having any specific details about your red maple (Acer rubrum) I cannot say for sure what is happening. Is this a new planting or an established tree? Did the tree put on new growth earlier this spring and now the foliage is dying back? There are less susceptible Acer rubrum cultivars but the species is subject to a few different insect and disease problems. This large shade tree is also associated with fungi and rot problems. For a proper diagnosis you can take a sample of the foliage to your County Cooperative Extension Service. You can visit the Orange County Web site at www.ag.purdue.edu/counties/orange/pages/default.aspx or reach them at (812) 723-7107. The horticulture agent will be able to give you more insight. You can also have a certified arborist come out and take a look at your tree. The Extension service and/or your local garden center/nursery should be able to give you local recommendations. As far as the fertilizer it received, this should not hurt your tree. As with all plant food, it is important to only apply the amount recommended on the product label. Too much food can be detrimental to any plant. I would not suspect this to be the case with your tree since it looked bad before you fertilized. In order to help your tree it is essential to find out what is really going on, and then take steps to help prevent any further decline. Treating for a problem that may or may not exist does not benefit the tree.

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