The Q&A Archives: Dead Wood on Japanese maple

Question: I have a Japanese maple about 4 years old. Half of the tree is dead wood after this Feb. and March cold weather. Should I prune it off or just let it alone and feed it?

Answer: If you're sure the wood is dead, prune it off now and with any luck, the tree will begin to send out new shoots on that side of the tree. If you're not sure the branches are dead, you can leave them alone and wait for the tree to recover. A good way to determine whether or not the stems and branches are dead is to simply scrape the bark with your thumbnail. Green tissue indicates it is alive; brown tissue means it is dead. Hope your tree recovers soon!

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