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Red Maple – Acer rubrum 'October Glory' – is it dying?

3 months ago

Hi all, Last summer we planted a lot of trees and most are doing well, but I wanted to see if anyone knows what's going on with this one.

We're in a bit of a drought right now and some of the trees are showing it, but not like this red maple – something looks wrong to me:

I've been taking photos all along so here is the progression of how it looked from about late April until now:

For one, the top leader branch has been bare, even when the rest of the tree came in this Spring:

April 25th – leaves coming in, top leader bare

April 29th - view of bottom part of tree

May 4th

May 9th - tree looks mostly OK to me, aside from the bare leader part on top still

May 14th - tree looks good, full - still with bare leader on top.

So sometime between mid-May and now (June 2), things took a turn for the worse. Again that period was hot and we haven't had rain, but something seems like its more than just lack of water?

June 2:

Lots of dried leaves on top and middle, discoloration


On bottom leaves, not sure what this white substance is

Tree was planted to the root flare, seems OK to me

Soil around base has this "white mold" looking substance – I don't know if that's an issue or not. As far as I know it could be the Mycorrhiza fungi (we planted all trees last year with Mycorrhiza).

mushrooms growing around the base

Really hope this tree will survive. Is this something more than just dryness from the drought? About 2 days ago I gave it a good watering, so I suppose only time will tell.

Thanks very much for your input

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