The Q&A Archives: Scorched Leaves on Japanese Maples

Question: I have a fine leaf Japanese maple tree, the species that starts out with red leaves and stays that way. It is a mature tree. For the past two seasons, the leaves get a brown edge to them then curl up and drop. By watering and fertilizing I can keep thetree in leaf but the process starts over. Is there a nutrient need? How can I stop this scorching from occuring? R J Cartisano Conway, SC

Answer: The scorching of your Japanese maples may be due to heat stress. South Carolina can get awfully hot. If the plant is also water stressed, then the leaves may start to curl and die starting at the tips. The best process is to keep the tree well watered all season, do a soil test to determine if any nutrients are needed and fertilize based on the test.

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