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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 12:51 pm

Japanese Maple trouble

I live in north central Delaware and planted an approx. 4' Japanese Maple in October of 2010. It did great through spring of 2011, then we had an unseasonably hot, dry summer after that. Since that time, even though I tried to keep it watered during the summer (maybe too much?), it has looked sickly and the leaves are only at the bottom of the tree. Any ideas on what can be done to help in addition to cutting off the dead growth? Thanks for any advice.



After and before

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Plant it somewhere else! JM's are understory trees that naturally grow under the canopy of a forest. They like filtered light; they do not like full sun all the time, especially if you are in a hot sunny area (you didn't say where you are located).

I have my JM in the shade of a big lilac bush and it does quite well there, with very little direct sun.

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Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:42 pm
Location: Lexington, KY.

I would start by cutting the dead growth out and give it a bit of time to get its roots situated. Fertilize this fall and wait. The fact that it is an understory tree means that it can take shade and in many instances needs shade not to burn. In the instance of the Japanese Maple you are good with full sun and will actually get a more dense and better red color from the tree. I have seen a lot of these plants get killed back the way yours has and grow to be very nice old trees. It will take a while but it is quite probable yours will too. Moving it now would likely be it's final nail. (If you ever do need to move a Japanese Maple do it in the very late winter before the new buds are opening. Have done that to many and sucess rate has to be over 95-98%)

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