The Q&A Archives: Leafless tree top

Question: My 12 foot tall Acer Rubrum red sunset red maple which I bought last August is fine except the top 2 feet of the tree is leafless. What do you recommend? Thanks.

Answer: Your tree may still be having some transplant issues which is causing the problem at the top. I'd check to see if the branches are still alive. Scrape the bark with your fingernail. If there's green tissue beneath the bark, the branches are still alive and should leave out next spring. If the branches are dead, cut them off. New branches should develop in the spring. Be sure you are watering deeply to encourage deep root growth. This should help your tree store lots of carbohydrates in the roots, which should help it green up nicely next spring. Best wishes with your maple.

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