The Q&A Archives: moving my japanese maple

Question: This last April I planted a 5-6 foot Japanese maple in partly shaded conditions except it gets direct late afternoon sun for 2 + hours. During the 100 degree days in June, I noticed a large portion of the tree had leaf burn. I am thinking of moving it to the opposite side of the yard - morning sun for 3 hours and shade the rest of the day. Is it best to move it now to avoid more sun stress or wait until fall? Thank you. Lynae.

Answer: The new planting site sounds ideal for your Japanese maple. I'd wait until this winter when the maple is dormant to move it. Doing so will ease transplant stress, allowing the roots become established before new growth begins in the spring. Although the leaves with crispy margins look unattractive, the parts that are not burned will continue to serve their purpose (photosynthesis). Later in the season the scorched leaves will drop from the tree. Next year, the leaves should be free of sun scorch and you can enjoy your Japanese maple to its fullest. Best wishes with your landscape!

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