3 Diseases That Affect Japanese Maple Trees

3 Diseases That Affect Japanese Maple Trees

20 October 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Landscaping is an important part of your home's curb appeal and value. Shrubs, flower beds, and a lush, green lawn are key elements to a great landscape design, but beautiful and healthy trees are also beneficial. The Japanese Maple tree is one of the most appealing trees you can implement into your landscape design. Not only does it add bold color and texture to your yard, but it also will stand the test of time for many years to come if properly maintained. Unfortunately, there are certain diseases that can quickly damage your Japanese Maple tree. Here are a few diseases that may affect your elegant Japanese maple.

Root Rot

Root rot is one of the most common issues that can affect the Japanese Maple tree. In most cases, this disease occurs if the tree is exposed to too much moisture. Planting the tree in an area with adequate sunlight will help reduce the risk of root rot. However, if the tree is already planted in an area that receives mostly shade, it may be at risk.

Here are a few signs of root rot:

  • Wilting foliage
  • Discolored foliage
  • Red or black sap on trunk
  • Decaying trunk
  • Moist ground around tree

If you see these signs, avoid watering the tree for a few days to see if that helps reduce the moisture content. Over time, root rot can spread into the roots, affecting other trees planted close to the Japanese Maple. If you begin seeing signs on nearby trees, removing the infected trees is essential.

Leaf Spot

As the name suggests, leaf spot disease causes spots on the leaves of your tree. The infection is caused by a fungus that attacks the tree strong and hard. While it will not kill your Japanese Maple, leaf spot disease can affect the look of your tree.

You can stop the fungal infection from spreading by pruning away affected leaves. Make sure to prune the entire branch that contains the spotty leaves. Also, discard the branches and foliage in an area away from other trees and shrubs to prevent the infection from spreading.


Anthracnose disease may infect your Japanese Maple tree, as well. Caused by a variety of different fungui, Anthracnose disease will cause the leaves to discolor and fall off. Over time, the fungi can seep into the soil, infecting the roots of your tree and trees that are nearby.

Prune away any limbs with brown and black spotty leaves. You should also remove dead limbs and foliage that have fallen to the ground around the base of the tree.

If the fungi spread into the roots, saving the tree is unlikely. You should remove the tree from the ground before the infections spreads to other plants.

The Japanese Maple tree is an excellent investment in your home's look and value, but proper care is important. If your tree is experiencing one or all of these diseases, consulting a tree specialist may be helpful.