Silver Maple Tree


I live in Scarborough SouthWest. I have a 35 year old Silver Maple in my yard. Suddenly last weekend the leaves started to wrinkle and fall off just like autumn. No other plants in my yard are affected. There has been no rain here for 3 weeks. I have attached a picture of 2 leaves on healthy one wrinkled and fallen. Please help to identify the problem thank you. Sorry photo file is too big.


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. I will assume what the issue is as I do not have photos to review.

Early leaf-drop is a sign of a tree under stress. The stress can be from drought stress, soil compaction, girdling root, an internal decay problem or fungi.

Fungi: Silver maple trees suffering from Anthracnose will feature spotted or curled and distorted leaves in late spring and early summer. Similarly, those attacked by Verticillium wilt will exhibit sudden smaller yellow leaves, leaf scorch and death on one side or one individual branch of the tree. The Toronto Master Gardener Website has several questions on this topic which may help you compare to your silver maple leaves in order to get closer to identifying the problem: Maple Leaf Fungus   (several links included) and Tar Spot Silver Maple Disease . A certified arborist would be able to help you identify and address the issue on your tree.

Another issues often overlooked are: construction around the tree root in the recent years, proximity to driveways, maintenance damage (lawn mowers or weed trimmers), etc. When a tree is under stress, it spends energy recovering and that can weaken it, making it vulnerable to diseases and, if it happens repeatedly, the tree goes into decline.

Once you determine the cause of stress you can address it to help rectify the decline. In the meantime, water your tree deeply and for a long time instead of superficially for short periods and continue disposing of the fallen leaves accordingly.

Hope you have found this information helpful.