The Q&A Archives: Japanese Acer

Question: Hi,

I'm an Irish Gardener, just learning the trade. I have two Japanese Acers, both have leaves with burnt ends. Garden centres I've asked have not been very forthcoming, with the only suggestion being repotting the plants. Can you please advise?

Answer: Some Japanese maples are quite sensitive to hot afternoon sunshine, salts in the soil, and dry soil. The crispy leaf margins you describe are probably sunscald. Try placing the plants in sites that are protected from hot afternoon sunshine. Filtered shade is okay, but full sun is not. I don't think you need to repot your trees, simply leach the soil from time to time to remove built-up salts. The easiest way is to immerse the pot in a larger container of water. Allow to sit for 15-30 minutes and then remove and allow to drain. This will flush excess salts out of the soil and drive out any air pockets around the roots. Do this periodically and your maples should be happy. Enjoy!

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