The Q&A Archives: Japanese Maple Damage

Question: My Japanese Maple was damaged by the last freeze, I had covered it because it had already leafed out, however this did not help. Will it come back this year with new leaves? There is no sign yet, this maple is 5 years old and very dear to me. HELP!

Answer: This spring was very stressful to so many plants. It helps that your tree is well established. Allow at least a month or so after the freeze to see new growth. You may find that there is some twig dieback as well as the leaf loss. Begin at the branch tips and prune off any dead wood. Live wood is supple and has green inside the bark. Dead wood is brittle and snaps in your hand, there is no green inside, and the bark may be off color dull gray or brown. The best thing to do for it is maintain a layer of mulch over the roots, about two to three inches thick. Water if there is a dry spell. Do not overfertilize it, but a top dressing of good quality compost might be helpful. I hope it recovers nicely for you.

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