The Q&A Archives: maple tree

Question: my japanese maple seems to be dying. This spring only about half of the tree got leaves. The tree is probably 15 years old, and always seemed very healthy.

Answer: Sometimes winter weather can kill off the leaf buds before they can open, and sometimes roots can die over the winter months. If you're sure the wood is dead on one side of the tree, prune it off now and with any luck, the tree will begin to send out new shoots on that side of the tree. If you're not sure the branches are dead, you can leave them alone and wait for the tree to recover. A good way to determine whether or not the stems and branches are dead is to simply scrape the bark with your thumbnail. Green tissue indicates it is alive; brown tissue means it is dead. Hope your tree recovers soon!

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