Autumn Blaze Maple Leaves Drying out ?????

arockerdude(z9 ConcorCalif.)September 30, 2009

I am having a problem with my Autumn Blaze Maple treeÂs leaves drying out. This problem happens every year since I planted it five years ago. Right when it is time for the tree to turn the red blaze colors the leaves dry up and fall off. I have posted my tree here before and was told that this looks more like water deprivation than fungus. So this Summer I made sure I watered it every week and I watered deep. But this year the leaves dried out just like the past four or five years. I am starting to wonder if it may be some type of Verticillium Wilt. Here are a few pictures of the tree and its leaves. You can see at least one branch towards the top of the tree that is not too dried out. It seems the newest leaves towards the ends of the branches and the top of the tree are the last to dry out. The side of tree were this starts out at is the side that gets the most sun and also it faces my rose, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe garden (fungus susceptible plants) We do have a heat wave right about the same time this happens every year. I also wonder if the lawn fertilizer might be burning the leaves.

Can you guys please take a look at the pictures below and tell me what you think the problem may be? I appreciate you guys helping me out. Take care. Dave

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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I can't say for sure but that usually looks like either too little/too much water...or root issues.

I didn't think Autumn Blaze was used outside of zone 8?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:18PM
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Unless you know of other AB Maples that are looking good in your area, I would think that it may not be as adaptable as hoped for. Looks to be in a fast draining spot too. I don't think it's wilt. Have a soil test done. Good luck. Maybe too much CA. sunshine.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:56PM
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arockerdude(z9 ConcorCalif.)

This is what they should look like.

And this is what most of them end up looking like.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 9:52PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

The tree is short of water. The evidence: the scorched edges.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 11:12PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Here's a hypothesis for you. I'm guessing that you get some wind from time to time. Not saying full blown Santa Ana, but perhaps you do. But it wouldn't have to be high wind. Being in California your dew points are generally no higher than 50-55 degrees, and if you get an east wind, much lower than that. Point is that very little wind, with dew points that low or lower, and temps even in the 80's will be VERY drying. So this establishes some extra water stress. Now for the tree part. When deciduous tress sense the fast shorting days, and cooling temperatures, they prepare for leaf drop and winter long before you see any signs. One of the things they do is start sealing off the vascular system in preparation of the severing of the leaf from the truck to prevent water and nutrient lose. So while the leaf is still attached, it flow of water is already greatly reduced. Now along comes a day or two 80+ degrees with 15 mph winds, and you have a formula for dry toasty leaves just like your seeing. Whats more you would not get this earlier in summer, as the vascular system is open full bore then. It's only when nearing leaf drop that the flow is impeded enough to cause scorching. FWIW, I life in NW Arkansas where we have rain throughout the year. Dewpoints can easily be 70 at any time in September with temps in mid 80's, but we are nearing leaf fall. If we get a few sunny warm days with some strong wind, exposed trees can sometimes get the same leaf burn. Especially if the tree is not at all drought resistant like Sugar Maple which are very common here.

So in short, I think it's tree physiology combined with dry California air and sunny skies. If I'm right you can try stepping up the water on warmer/windier days, but even that may not help.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 11:33PM
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