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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous Trees > Maple > Leaf edges discolored, center remains green

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Maple > Leaves > Leaf edges discolored, center remains green

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Environmental stress
Drought, compact soils, flood damage, winter injury, other

  • Leaves wilt and turn brown at the tips and the margins first, then completely brown
  • Leaves appear drooped or wilted within canopy
  • Dead branches in the canopy
  • Many weak young shoots/sprouts at the base of the tree
  • More information on caring for trees and shrubs
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Deicing salt injury

  • Soil salt damage causes leaf edges or margins to appear burnt or scorched progressing toward the mid-vein
  • Soil salt damage can mimic nutrient deficiencies, e.g., yellowing foliage on deciduous plants
  • Salt spray causes branches to become tuft-like (a.k.a. witches’ broom)
  • Run-off salt kills roots which results in die-back of most branches
  • Affected trees leaf out later than other non-infected trees
  • All deicing damage most noticeable in spring
  • More information on Deicing salts
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Discula campestris, D. umbrinella, Aureobasidium
apocryptum, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides

  • Young leaves turn brown to black, shriveled or curled
  • Mature leaves have irregularly shaped tan, brown or black leaf spots found along leaf veins; may be curled if severely infected
  • Lower, interior branches are most affected
  • Damage occurs in wet weather in early spring as leaves are expanding
  • More information on Anthracnose
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Leaf variegation

  • Entire leaf margins are white, cream or pinkish
  • Branches with variegated leaves can revert back to green leaves and result in a mix of variegated and green branches within the canopy
  • Rare and only seen on varieties specifically selected for variegation
  • Norway maple, red maple and boxelder trees are available with variegated leaves

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