Aralia racemosa gone bad on me

dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

My prize three year old Aralia blossomed and set seeds, then the leaves started to brown and go dead. It looks sort of like a mildew problem but most of the plants susceptible to it aren't affected by it this year.
This is a picture taken only a week ago and it was starting to show then, Now it's totally raggy looking with most leaves gone.
Seedlings very nearby are not affected and look fine.
Anybody have any ideas what caused it?

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brandon7 TN_zone7(7)

I'm a little confused by your description, especially when you mention that it seems to be a mildew problem. What makes you think it's mildew? Any chance you took good pictures before the leaves were totally dead?

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