I apologize for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!
Japanese maple really suffers from the long, hot, humid summers of the south. For best results choose a type with wider, less deeply cut leaves (more like a miniature maple or sycamore leaf) rather than one with narrow, deeply cut leaves (narrow, thread-like "fingers" on the leaf). They prefer to be located in the shade (a little morning sun only) in a soil with lots of organic matter added. Keep it moist but not soggy.
If you're tree has not sprouted in me leaves yet try scratching the bark with a thumbnail our knife to see if it is still alive in which case it will be green are creamy colored underneath the ground surface. If it is brown underneath the surface the branch you are scratching on is dead.
Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!
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