The Q&A Archives: Japanese Maple with Browning Tips

Question: I purchased a home in Rancho Santa Margarita in November of 1996. I planted a burgundy Japanese Lace Maple tree in early March of 1997. Within a week, we had some heavy Santa Ana winds and the tips of the leaves became brown. I don't recall all leaves having brown tips, but they do now. What I am concerned about is that I don't know if the browned tips are from the wind or if I may be overwatering the tree. Are there any other signs to look for which might indicate to me that I am over watering?Thanks. Bruce F. Cannelongo Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Answer: I'd guess it's the combination of newly transplanted and the winds that caused the Japanese maple leaves to brown on the tips. As long as new growth looks okay, the leaves don't continue to brown, wilt and drop and the general vigor of the tree is fine, then I think you'll be okay. It will take awhile for the tree to shake the transplant shock, so keep it pampered with water, but as you said, not too much! Mulch will help conserve moisture and prevent you from having to water as much.

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