The Q&A Archives: Leaves Turning Brown on Waterfall Japanese Maple

Question: We recently bought and transplanted one of your small waterfall Japanese maples from a local nursery. It receives dappled, filtered sunlight during part of the day and is in light shade for the greater part of the day. Our altitude is 7,000 ft. We keep it well watered in a rich soil with a ph of 6. All of its leaves are turning brown from the edges of the outer fronds to the inside. Can you tell us what is wrong and do you have any suggestions for it?

Answer: Too much sun can lead to scorching of the leaves, turning the edges a crispy brown. Since your Japanese maple is planted in a protected site, it's possible the foliage is showing signs of distress from salt burn (too much fertilizer or minerals in the water you use). It might also prefer a slightly more acidic soil. Since your tree is newly planted, it may also just be trying to adjust to its new home. I'd mulch around the roots with peat moss or pine needles, continue to water it on a regular basis, and allow it to leaf out next spring. By then it should be firmly established and completely adapted to its new home. Enjoy your tree!

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