The Q&A Archives: Sick Japanese Maple

Question: I have two different japanese maples that look like they are dieing, They have been in the same pot's for two years and they have been in the same spot on my deck. The leaves on both of them are drying up and they look like they are dieing. My other maples look fine.

Answer: Matthew,

In a container the roots are restricted and thus the plant is more subject to dry or soggy soil conditions. I suspect the trees are rootbound and are quickly depleting the water and nutrients in the soil. I would pot it up in a larger container. Take care to not damage the roots too much in the process. Water it in well and keep the soil moist. When new growth begins start to fertilize with a soluble fertilizer such as Miracle Gro.

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