The Q&A Archives: Japanese Maple

Question: I live about a hour east of Dallas. I purchased and planted a Japanese Maple in March of this year. It has done great until last month. The leaves on one of the branches turned brown and crumbled. It is a young tree so I suspect that side of the tree got to much sun and scorched the leaves. The branch itself looks good and the tree is producing new growth on other branches. Should I trim the bare branch or leave it alone? Will it eventually grow new leaves?

Answer: Some Japanese maples are more susceptible to sunscald than others. Without knowing exactly which maple you have, it's difficult for me to say whether or not the crispy leaves are due to overexposure to sunshine. Generally, the filagree leafed maples are more tender than the larger leafed trees. I wouldn't prune the branch right now. It's the end of the growing season and your tree will drop the leaves within a few weeks. New leaves will be produced in the spring. If your tree develops crispy leaves next summer, you might want to move it to a more protected site - one that provides shade from the hot afternoon sunshine.

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