The Q&A Archives: Japanese Maple Tree

Question: My Japanese Maple tree seems to be dying. I planted it tw0 years ago. The same thing began to happen last summer. Sections of leaves are dry and curling under. What can be doing this? My tree gets enough water and fertlizer.

Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description I am not certain what is happening to your tree. This type of symptom could be caused by a variety of factors such as over or under watering, overfertilizing, poor rooting, a disease such as mildew, or accidental exposure to chemicals such as herbicide, or planting in a site that is excessively hot and sunny such as a western exposure, for example. I would suggest you work with your local Rutgers county extension to obtain a specific diagnosis of the problem and based on knowing that, decide what to do. If a chemical control is needed, they will have the most up to date information on what to use and how/when is best to apply it.

In the meantime, take care to keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet and not dried out. Also, do not overfertilze it. A spring time application of a slow release granular fertilizer (read and follow label directions for how much to use) and/or top dressing of compost along with using an organic mulch year round should provide adequate feeding for this tree.

Good luck with your tree!

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