Garden Care

What Are Silver Maple Trees Problems? What You Need To Know

Fast-growing silver maples can attain heights of 100 feet. Their natural habitats include wetland areas and floodplains. The tree’s attractive greenery makes it a desirable decoration.

However, it is difficult for farmers to grow these kinds of plants because of silver maple trees problems. Let’s scroll down to know more.

What Is The Silver Maple?

silver maple trees problems

Before finding what causes silver maple tree problems, I will give you some fundamental information about these trees.

Silver Maple Tree Identification

The silver maple (Acer saccharinum), often known as the soft maple and white maple, is a fast-growing shade tree that belongs to the soapberry species (Sapindaceae).

Originally from the eastern part of North America, it has become a popular crop abroad.

Characteristic Of A Maple Tree

Rapid expansion in size is its defining feature. Their leaves shimmer and move gracefully in the wind because they are two colors on opposite sides and adaptable to many soil types.

Planting 10 feet away from roads, sidewalks, basements, and sewage lines is recommended due to the tree’s robust root structure.

Depending on the cultivar, it may reach heights of 50–80 feet and widths of 2–3 times its height. (zones 3-9)

They have 3-6″ leaves with five lobes divided by prominently deep, thin sinuses. Silver maples are a vibrant green in the spring and summer, but they transform into silvery yellow in the autumn.

Early in the spring, they develop clusters of tiny blooms in shades of silver, red, and yellow, and by the end of spring, they’ve matured into couples of winged seeds measuring more than 3 inches in length.

Among native maples, their seeds are the biggest you’ll find.

Once they mature, they form a vase shape. Besides, the roots of this plant extend far and wide, and the trunk has the potential to grow to enormous proportions.

How Fast Do Silver Maple Trees Grow

Although it thrives in wetter environments, this plant can adapt to various environments.

Don’t like red maple, a silver maple may add 4 to 6 feet to its height per year. It is considered one of the state’s tallest trees.

So, how tall do silver maple trees grow? The typical height of these healthy trees is around 100 feet, with an inner diameter of 4 to 5 feet.

The maple tree is one of the most adaptable species around. You may find these common trees in every state and province in Canada and the USA.

While maple trees may thrive in a wide range of temperatures, you’ll most often find them in the Northeast and North, where it’s colder.

What Are Silver Maple Trees Problems?

diseases of silver maple trees

There are several main causes of silver maple trees problems, including Verticillium Wilt, Anthracnose, Tar Spot, Chlorosis, and Shoestring Root Rot.

Verticillium Wilt

The stem disease known as verticillium wilt (Verticillium albo-atrum) is responsible for the unexpected demise of silver maple trees.

Some branches, and the whole plant, may lose their leaves and become a sickly yellow.

The leaf margins in a badly diseased tree will curl inward before becoming brown. The greatest defense against Verticillium wilt is to grow disease-resistant cultivars.

This silver maple disease can’t thrive in the ground without an appropriate host plant for over three years.

Therefore, removing the sick trees will finally bring the disease under control in the affected area. The use of chemicals has shown some promise, albeit it may need an expert application to be successful.


All species of maple trees are prone to anthracnose (Gloeosporium spp.), a fungal infection that impacts a variety of shade trees.

Reddish-brown lesions appear first; subsequently, the Anthracnose lesions merge into larger ones, eventually dying off vast sections of the damaged leaf.

After that, the tender shoots and leaflets wither and become black. Defoliation often follows very infectious diseases. Infected tissue may then contaminate the fresh growth that occurs in the spring.

The overwintering populations of anthracnose may be reduced by removing leaves that have fallen and branches, which is the most effective management method.

Pruning is removing live branches from an entire tree to make space for new ones and increase airflow through the tree’s canopy.

Clean, water, and fertilize your silver maple regularly to keep it healthy. A severe infection will less impact a healthy silver maple tree than one under stress.

Tar Spot

A fungus called tar spot is responsible for the ugly black blotches on the foliage of trees.

While this fungal infection seldom kills silver maple trees, it might occasionally completely consume an infected tree, severely diminishing the tree’s visual appeal.

In most cases, spots appear at the beginning of summer, starting as yellow before changing to a much darker brown or black.

Good sanitary measures taken in the autumn may prevent and even eradicate this fungus. When dead leaves begin to fall, rake them up.


Trees of the silver maple species do best when planted in acidic soil (pH 6.5 or below). Chlorosis, caused by a lack of manganese, may affect these trees if grown in alkaline soil.

Silver maple trees with this deficit have juvenile leaves with pale green or yellow edges separating the veins, even when they remain dark green.

The issue may be prevented by planting the tree by doing a soil test beforehand. Sulfur may be applied to soils with a pH greater than 7.0.

The soil must be acidified, which may require as much as twelve months before the plant is placed.

Shoestring Root Rot

Shoestring root rot (Armillaria mellea) is a type of fungi that infects both evergreen and deciduous plants across the globe.

It may go undiagnosed for decades on the roots of its host species until it produces an abundance of mushrooms around the foot of the tree.

Earlier signs of trouble for the tree include stunted development, discoloration of the leaves, and the death of branches.

Differentiating this disease from others that cause similarly disturbed leaf or twig characteristics is the emergence of tan fungus at the base of the affected silver maple tree.

Disease-prevention efforts have failed thus far because the rhizomorphs responsible for spreading the fungus are so diverse.


are silver maples good trees

What Does a Silver Maple Tree Look Like?

  • All maple trees, including this one, have five-pointed leaves and generate abundant seeds in springtime.
  • The seeds develop into a set of “wings.” Once they reach maturity, they split off and spiral down the trunk with a single “wing.”
  • The silvery-white undersides of these leaves give this tree its common name. The leaves take on a silvery sheen when the outside temperature is mild.
  • The outer layer of bark of young bushes and branches looks smooth. Yet, while the tree ages, the trunk bark develops a hard matted texture.

Why Are Silver Maples Bad?

The silver maple has a bad reputation due to its propensity to shed large limbs, which may cause significant damage to structures, walls, and even power lines, in addition to smaller branches and layers of bark, which might clog mowers and other equipment.

Besides, Silver maples are prone to having their roots breach sewage systems, leading to backups and leaks, since they are always on the lookout for water. Fixing this might be expensive for homeowners.

What Makes Maple Trees Unique?

The leaves of each kind of maple tree appear completely distinct from other maple trees. The form of a maple leaf is very recognizable and helps the tree differentiate itself from others.

The vibrant autumn hues they display are another reason for their fame.

Some people call maple trees “sugar maples” because of the syrup and sugar that may be made from their sap. Breakfast pancakes with waffles and ice cream are all improved by adding maple syrup.


Several fungal diseases can cause silver maple trees problems, as I mentioned. Therefore, you should pay attention if you plan to plant this tree.

However, the silver maple is a common ornamental tree because of its rapid growth rate and ability to provide a cool shadow.

The tree serves as a source of animal nutrition and may be used to produce syrup, among other things. So, it is worth it.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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