October Red Maple Tree - Diseases - Knowledgebase Question

Las Cruces, NM
Avatar for asiverfox60
Question by asiverfox60
June 22, 2006
We recently purchaed a young October Red Maple tree and have planted it in a large planter in our courtyard. It appeared that cutter bees were chewing on the leaves and now the leaves are drying up and the tree is looking very unhealthy. We are concerned that we will lose the tree if we don't take some action.

Please tell us if this type of tree is subject to disease and how do we treat it. Also, how do you keep the cutter bees from attacking the tree. FYI - the temperatures have been in the high 90's and low 100's since we planted the tree. We water it twice daily - three times a week (the city is currently on water restrictions).

Thank you for any help you can give us.

Answer from NGA
June 22, 2006
Maple trees can suffer from transplant shock, which can make leaves turn yellow and then crispy brown; over watering can cause similar symptoms, as can salt burn from over-fertilization. And, some maples are prone to sun scald which can turn the leaves brown. As for the cutter bees, there's really nothing you can do to keep them from taking semi-circles out of the leaves. They don't really damage the tree, just make some of the leaves look odd.

You didn't say whether your tree was in full sun or part shade. Since it is in a container, try moving it to a spot where it will get morning sun and filtered afternoon shade. This will help keep the leaves from getting crispy brown. Plants in containers can dry out quickly, especially if the container is in hot afternoon sun. In fact, a dark colored container getting direct sunlight can absorb the heat and essentially cook the roots. Moving the container or at least blocking direct sunshine should help. As for watering, water as often as needed, especially in the summertime, but be sure to water thoroughly each time, allowing water to flow out of the drainage holes. Then wait until the top inch of soil is dry before thoroughly watering again.

I think your tree will adjust to growing in a container and adjust to the light exposure in time. Just keep it adequately watered and protected from hot afternoon sun and it should rebound in a few weeks. Best wishes with your maple!

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