A year ago last summer, my red maple looked as if the leaves had been burned. It then lost all its leaves long before my other two maples. I feared that I had lost this magnificent tree, but it came back in full bloom this year. What could have caused this?
It sounds like leaf scorch, a condition caused by high temperatures in late July and August. Leaf scorch causes the leaf margins or the tissue between the veins to turn brown. If the tree is in good condition, it will rebound the next spring.