The Q&A Archives: what do I feed my japanese maple tree - it is not healthy

Question: I was advised by a person on your staff to water 1x per week and feed my japanese red maple tree as many of my branches have no leaves. Please advise what I should feed the japanese red maple tree and how many times per week or month. thanks for your help


Japanese maples can be fed once in the spring with a general purpose 10-10-10 or any garden fertilizer you have on hand. Don't feed too much if your tree is already stressed. You might want to use half the recommended fertilizer amount (as listed on the package) and feed now, wait until July and feed the second half of the amount. One deep soaking per week should be fine for your tree - two soakings if the weather is really hot. You can help keep the roots cool with a layer of organic mulch material. I'm not sure why your tree has not already leafed out. Try scraping the bark on a branch or two to see if the branches are alive. Use your fingernail to scrape the bark and look for green tissue. If you find some, the branch is alive; if the tissue is brown, that part of the branch is dead. You can prune off any dead branches, back to live wood to promote new growth. I hope your tree recovers!

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