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Acer tree branches dying - please help!

Hi all,
I have a beautiful Acer in my garden, fairly large at about nine feet tall. This week with the warm weather, the leaves have finally come out - but only on half the tree. The other half has not, and the buds aren’t growing. On closer inspection, I found that the bark on the affected branches has gone pale with black spots and stripes, where as the healthy branches are all green as they should be. 

Here are some pictures of the diseased branches:

A diseased branch next to a healthy green branch: 

Half the tree in leaf, the other nearly lifeless:

Does anyone know what might be causing this? Is there any hope for the diseased parts, or should I cut them off to try to save the rest of the tree?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  • Hi, I had trouble with a young medlar tree with bits of it dying off, so I cut well below the dying wood into healthy wood and burned the dead and dying wood and also used pruning sealant on the cut. It seems now to be growing healthy without any trouble? I'm no expert but it sounds like a fungus to me attacking the tree but I could be wrong?

    It seems that many diseases that attack acers are due to acers being too wet, I could be wrong?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,319
    I had a similar looking bruise (pic 3) on one of my acers.
    Sadly it turned out to be wilt
    Some more info here

    Hopefully yours doesn't have it,but just in case
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thank you both for the information. I’m hoping it’s not wilt, but shall keep an eye out for symptoms in the rest of the tree. I’ll cut off the dead branches and hope it recovers. 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,319
    When you cut branches, check for the tell-tale sign of black rings as in the RHS article above
    Fingers x'ed
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • I will, thank you!
  • l.c.arnoldl.c.arnold Posts: 1
    Hi, did you ever find out what caused this? The exact same thing is happening to my acer. I’m really saddened by this and hoping I can save it. 
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