The Q&A Archives: Fewer Leaves On Crimson King Maple

Question: I have a 7-year old Crimson King Maple tree which this year has less foliage than in previous years. There is no apparent distress to the tree, including no sign of insect damage either to the trunk or to the leaves; none of the branches are bare. The only sign of some possible problem is that this year there seems to be a decrease in the number of leaves with the result that the tree looks less vigorous in terms of leafing than in previous years.

Answer: Japanese maples are marginally hardy in USDA Zone 5, so a hard winter can significantly weaken the tree. There's not much you can do if this is the situation, except pamper it a bit by making sure it has plenty of water during droughts. Don't fertilize the tree after midsummer, because this can interfere with hardening off.

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