When you walk into a Canadian gift shop, you can expect to finds some of the following: red plaid shirts, little statues of beavers and bears, fake snow, mini hockey sticks, and key chains filled with red and white glitter. Perhaps one of the most prominent items in any Canadian gift shop is the bright red maple leaf.

The maple tree is quite possibly the most iconic Canadian symbol. Like any other species of tree, the cherished maple is at risk of disease. To ensure your maples are healthy, here are a few diseases to watch out for:


This is a group of diseases caused by fungi that tends to affect many shade trees. It is common after humid winters and can hinder bud formation, kill leaves, and cause brown or purple spots and stripes on leaves.

Prevention tip: Anthracnose thrives on dead leaves. To keep your maple trees healthy, ensure you rake up all dead leaves and remove them from your lawn.

Tar Spot

Tar spots can be caused by one of two fungi: Rhytisma acerinum or R. punctatum. As the name suggests, this disease results in large, brownish-black circles on the tops of leaves. The disease tends to ramp up during wet weather when the leaves are unable to dry. Although the disease looks menacing it is not life threatening to the tree.

Maple Wilt

This is a serious disease that can potentially kill your maple tree. It starts in the roots and works its way up the trunk, resulting in scorched looking leaves and deformed branches.

Prevention tip: Remove all trees affected with maple wilt. If you notice symptoms on your tree, remove the infected branches to reduce the risk of spreading.


This fungal disease affects sugar maples and causes foliage at the top of the tree to shrink. It is a fatal disease that can only be prevented by chopping down affected trees.

Maple Facts You Didn’t Know:

  • There are over 125 species of maple trees in the world
  • In the right conditions, maple trees can live well over 200 years
  • Sugar maples are tapped to make maple syrup
  • Maple trees produce winged seeds that “fly” to the ground when released
  • It takes 30 to 50 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup

The maple tree is one of Canada’s most iconic symbols. With bright red leaves recognized from sea to sea to sea, the maple is cherished as a species wholeheartedly Canadian.

Like any other tree, the maple can get sick. If you suspect your maple tree is sick, or in danger of contracting a disease, contact the professional arborists at Rock’s Tree Service today.