The middle of my Japanese dwarf red maple is dying.It gets brittle and the leaves fall off, one small branch at a time. I can find no evidence of fungus or anything, no insects or worms. It is not in a wet area. Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated. We live in WV.
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It may be poor irrigation.  Is there ever standing water nearby?  Did you let it go dry in a heat spell?  Was it dry and very windy a few weeks back? What you see going on right now is possibly the result of something that happened two or three weeks ago.  Challenge your memory to see if you can come up with something.  Prune a branch that this is happening to.  Start at the tip of the branch and cut back every six inches.  Note where the cambium layer under the bark is green and where it is brown.  If brown, that part of the branch is truly dead.  Cut back to the green area below it and then leave it alone.  Spray it well with a surrfactant like CloudCover to maintain moisture in the plant and prep it for winter in your area.  It should do fine.
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