RED JAPANESE MAPLE - Knowledgebase Question

saratoga springs, ut
Avatar for twdunyon
Question by twdunyon
October 22, 2005
I have a japanese red maple. During the summer when it should be bright red, it is more brown. Should I be puting more nitrogen fertilizer? What will keep the leaves that beautiful red color?

Answer from NGA
October 22, 2005
Based on your description, it is impossible to give an exact diagnosis of the problem. However, a common reason for leaf browning and curling leaf edges is sun/heat and/or drought stress. The Japanese maples as a group tend to do best planted in partial or dappled shade and away from heat-reflective surfaces such as pavement and buildings. These treees also prefer a moist yet well drained soil (not soggy) with ample organic matter worked in. Newly planted trees should be carefully watered throughout their first year up until the ground freezes for the winter. A good deep soaking once a week or so, combined with several inches of mulch, should be sufficient by now since the tree has been there for several months. (Use your finger to check the soil moisture an inch or two below the surface. If it's dry, the tree needs water.) You might want to consult with a professional arborist or your County Extension for a more definite diagnosis of the problem and suggested remedies, if any. Good luck with your tree!

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