En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Problems with October Glory maple tree in Evansville IN

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 10, 2010

From: Evansville, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Problems with October Glory maple tree in Evansville IN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a 15 yr. old October Glory maple tree. 2 years ago we had a bad ice storm and this tree was covered with 1/2 to 3/4 " of ice. The tree resembled a chicken wishbone with its limbs touching the ground. No limbs were lost, but it has never fully leafed out since then. Last summer the leaves started dropping at a slow but steady rate in July. The leaves were closed up and brown around the edges. This spring, it was full of maple seeds, but not leaves. I can see thru the tree, the leaves are that sparse. We do have a cat and he tries to use the mulch as a litter box.

ANSWER:

The ice storm and resultant damage to your tree certainly cannot have done it any good. Directly connecting that to the leaf drop problem is not that clear.

This USDA Forest Service website Acer rubrum "October Glory'  gives you more information on what is a cultivar (cultivated variety) of a tree native to North America, Acer rubrum (red maple). From that article, we extracted this information:

"Due to graft-incompatibility problems, which cause the tree to break apart, preference should be given to cultivars produced on their own roots."

The problem with that kind of information is: who knows what tree was grafted onto what other trees roots? How do you trace that sort of thing and/or blame a problem the tree is having on the grafting procedure? So, we went looking for other possibilities. We are not plant pathologists and even a trained expert would probably need to look at the tree to know what was going on. We are going to refer you to some websites that have pictures, even one slide show, on pests and diseases of the maple tree. 

From lovetoknow: Gardens Maple Tree Diseases

HubPages Maple Tree Problems

About.com: Forestry Insects and Diseases of Red Maple

Our recommendation is that you get that expert we mentioned earlier, a trained and licensed arborist to look at the tree, hear its history and make a diagnosis. As an interim step, and perhaps to help you find that expert, contact the Purdue University Extension Office for Vanderburgh County. They do work with plant pathologists, and this might be something that is going on in other parts of your area. They are closer to the problem and may know right away what the problem is.

Pictures of Acer rubrum 'October Glory" maple tree from Google

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Acer rubrum

Acer rubrum

Acer rubrum

Acer rubrum

 

 

 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Is December a good time to prune oaks in Central Texas?
December 29, 2010 - Given that we haven't had much cold weather here in central Texas (Wimberley) this season, is it a good time to trim live and Spanish oak trees (damaged limbs and low hanging branches and suckers)? ...
view the full question and answer

What's that sticky stuff on plants under many trees?
August 23, 2010 - Here in Austin, I've recently noticed a sticky film appearing on shrubs, flowers, grass, etc. under many trees. It appears to be coming from the trees under which they are planted. The sticky film ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native red-tip photinias dying in San Antonio
August 20, 2009 - A 17 year old Red tip Photinia in a hedge shows signs of dying. The main stalks are quite large and offshoots from two of the stalks have brittle, drooping leaves. The center of the plant looks norm...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on 3 year old maple turning brown in Lebo, KS.
July 16, 2011 - Hello, one of our five Maple trees which is is 3 yrs. old now, we saw a week ago that the leaves started turning brown and dropping. My question is: Will the tree survive this and return healthy next ...
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf fall causing ivy damage
August 28, 2007 - I read the A/Q in the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, August 25, regarding the leaves falling now from the live oaks. I am experiencing the same thing, but it is the leaves of my post oaks that a...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center