How To Revive a Dying Japanese Maple Tree

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Dying Japanese maple tree leaves.ConradH, Flickr, licensed underneath CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

Japanese maples are famend for bringing dramatic autumn coloration to the backyard. Their compact measurement, sleek behavior and vivid crimson, orange, purple and golden yellow foliage make these decorative timber a placing focus in any out of doors area.

Often known as Acer palmatum timber, Japanese maples are gradual rising and excellent for brightening up smaller gardens and patio areas. Though they’re absolutely hardy to the generally fairly harsh climates like these within the UK and North America, Japanese maples are simple to develop and easy to take care of. Some frequent issues, nevertheless, can have an effect on Japanese maple timber and are value protecting a watch out for.

Dying Japanese maple tree leaves.JWilliams, Unsplash.

In case your Japanese maple isn’t trying its finest, it may be an indication there’s something severely mistaken with the plant.

Purchase your Acer trees here.

There will be many causes your Acer tree could also be dying, however most of those are associated to poor rising situations. It might be that the soil across the tree is storing an excessive amount of water leading to root rot. Or maybe your tree is affected by the solar or wind, which may depart shrubs feeling and looking dehydrated.

Regardless of the trigger, it’s probably the problem will be reversed when caught and handled early sufficient.

Dying Japanese maple tree.Carl Beech, Unsplash.

The best approach to uncover whether or not your Japanese maple is clinging to life or has already died is to fastidiously reduce away a bit bark. Take a peak and word the colour of the wooden beneath. Whether it is inexperienced, the tree continues to be alive, and there’s a very good likelihood you may nurse it again to well being. If the tree seems brown beneath the bark, that a part of the tree is useless. Nevertheless, it’s value trying underneath the bark at one other a part of the tree earlier than writing off the entire tree. You could discover components of the tree are wholesome, and the useless components will be pruned away.

Japanese maple timber are deciduous and enter a dormant part in winter, when they could look useless. Most maples will start to point out indicators of younger leaves reappearing in early spring. In case your tree reveals no signal of its lovely foliage by late spring or early summer season, the tree has probably died.

Japanese maple tree leaves.James St. John, Flickr, licensed underneath CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

The best approach to forestall Japanese maples from dying is to be taught what signs you need to look out for. If caught early sufficient, most will be remedied, and your tree will be returned to full well being.

Signs to Look Out For

Curling and Falling Leaves

This is usually a signal that your tree is being scorched by the solar. If you happen to don’t need to transfer your Acer palmatum to a shadier a part of the backyard, contemplate planting taller vegetation and timber round it to supply partial shade.

Brown curling leaves will also be a symptom of under-watering. Verify the highest layer of soil and if it feels dry, give the tree a very good soak. The very last thing you need is to encourage root rot, nevertheless. So make sure the soil drains effectively and doesn’t turn out to be waterlogged. Cultivating the encircling soil with a backyard spade or fork will assist preserve it draining freely.

Sagging Branches

In case your tree is unhealthy, its branches would possibly start to sag and/or turn out to be blotchy. This is usually a symptom of poor vitamin or an insect infestation. Within the case of the previous, feed the tree with a very good all-purpose fertilizer – a slow-release granular selection is ideal.

An insect infestation is usually a bit trickier to take care of. Aphids are notably drawn to Japanese maples and like to choose younger shoots. The only approach to do away with the bugs is to make use of a sprig bottle stuffed with water and washing up liquid to kill the aphids and wash them away. Examine surrounding vegetation and different maples to make sure the infestation hasn’t unfold.

Japanese maple leaf.Nervewax, Unsplash.

This largely depends upon how rapidly you’ve taken motion to revive the tree and the steps you’re taking to assist it get better. Often, Japanese maples will be nurtured again to good well being as soon as the problem has been decided and handled.

Like most vegetation, Japanese maple timber require basic upkeep to maintain them wholesome.

Japanese maple tree leaf detail.J Williams, Unsplash.


Maybe crucial of those is common watering. In case you are within the UK or one other space with numerous precipitation, your tree might be watered by nature for a lot of the 12 months. However throughout sizzling and dry spells, it pays to offer the tree a very good drenching two or thrice a month. Goal to maintain the soil moist however effectively drained. In case your Acer is in a pot or container, examine there are many drainage holes and that extra water can drain freely.


Japanese maples profit from good high quality granular fertilizer. Mulch and apply fertilizer in spring to assist the tree throughout its development interval. Keep away from feeding in autumn, as this will encourage it to develop on the mistaken time of 12 months and adversely have an effect on its course.


Acers planted within the backyard will typically be hardy to winters with temperatures of 0 to 7°C (32° – 45°F), however making use of mulch in late autumn earlier than the primary frost will assist shield the roots from low temperatures. Timber planted in pots or containers will want some assist to outlive the winter. If they’ll’t be moved to a greenhouse or different sheltered place, one of the best ways to guard Japanese maple timber from frost is to insulate the pots. Use pot ft or small blocks of wooden to boost the container from the chilly floor and wrap it in insulation sheets or bubble wrap to forestall the worst of the chilly from reaching the basis base.

Selecting the Proper Spot

The placement of your Acer may have a big affect on its well being. Japanese maples dislike direct sizzling solar, preferring a spot in dappled shade. In addition they prefer to be sheltered from robust winds and thrive finest in an acidic or impartial soil pH. A potted Acer tree will be moved round to seek out the very best shady spot. However select your location fastidiously when planting a Japanese Maple within the floor as they’re tougher to relocate.


Common pruning has a number of advantages, together with serving to air to flow into and serving to forestall fungus from showing. One of the best time to prune Japanese maples is in the course of the dormant season, from November to January. Don’t get carried away, however a bit pruning to take away any useless or broken components of the tree and any crossing branches to permit the tree to develop in a pretty form.

As with many issues, prevention is best than treatment for protecting Japanese maple timber comfortable and wholesome. In the proper situations, Japanese maple timber are simple to develop and require little upkeep. Guaranteeing they’re planted in well-draining soil, in a spot out of harsh daylight, and in chilly winds provides these lovely decorative timber the very best likelihood at an extended and wholesome life.