The Q&A Archives: What are white coloring on Japanese maple leaves?

Question: I just purchase a very young Japanese tree and it has a lightning on the leves of a white shade

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what you are seeing. It might be a spray residue of some kind, these can dry with a whitish or cloudy cast. You could try rinsing it with water from the garden hose and see if it washes off. It might be powdery mildew, a fungal infection. This will be powdery to the touch and can also sometimes be rinsed off with the hose. It occurs under certain weather conditions but can be treated with fungicide if it recurs. Finally, it might also be the result of frost damage to the leaves earlier this spring, or possibly sunburn if you have planted it in a full sun location. I would suggest you consult with your Rutgers extension to try to get a more specific diagnosis, and based on knowing that you can decide what to do. If it is something that requires a chemical control, they will be able to tell you what to use and how and when to use it for the most effective results. Good luck with your tree!

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