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 colour to the backyard. Their compact dimension, swish behavior and vivid purple, orange, purple and golden yellow foliage make these decorative timber a placing point of interest in any out of doors house.

Often known as Acer palmatum timber, Japanese maples are gradual rising and ideal for brightening up smaller gardens and patio areas. Though they’re absolutely hardy to the typically fairly harsh climates like these within the UK and North America, Japanese maples are straightforward to develop and easy to look after. Some widespread issues, nonetheless, can have an effect on Japanese maple timber and are value preserving 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 significantly mistaken with the plant.

Purchase your Acer trees here.

There might be many causes your Acer tree could also be dying, however most of those are associated to poor rising situations. It could 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 go away shrubs feeling and looking dehydrated.

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

Dying Japanese maple tree.Carl Beech, Unsplash.

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

Japanese maple timber are deciduous and enter a dormant part in winter, when they might look lifeless. Most maples will start to indicate indicators of younger leaves reappearing in early spring. In case your tree exhibits no signal of its stunning 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 option to stop Japanese maples from dying is to study what signs it’s best to look out for. If caught early sufficient, most might be remedied, and your tree might be returned to full well being.

Signs to Look Out For

Curling and Falling Leaves

This generally is a signal that your tree is being scorched by the solar. Should you don’t wish to transfer your Acer palmatum to a shadier a part of the backyard, think about planting taller crops and timber round it to offer 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 great soak. The very last thing you need is to encourage root rot, nonetheless. So make sure the soil drains nicely and doesn’t change into 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 change into blotchy. This generally is a symptom of poor vitamin or an insect infestation. Within the case of the previous, feed the tree with a great all-purpose fertilizer – a slow-release granular selection is ideal.

An insect infestation generally is a bit trickier to take care of. Aphids are notably interested in Japanese maples and like to choose younger shoots. The best option to eliminate the bugs is to make use of a sprig bottle crammed with water and washing up liquid to kill the aphids and wash them away. Examine surrounding crops and different maples to make sure the infestation hasn’t unfold.

Japanese maple leaf.Nervewax, Unsplash.

This largely relies on how shortly you’ve taken motion to revive the tree and the steps you’re taking to assist it recuperate. Normally, Japanese maples might be nurtured again to good well being as soon as the problem has been decided and handled.

Like most crops, Japanese maple timber require normal 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 plenty of precipitation, your tree will likely be watered by nature for a lot of the yr. However throughout sizzling and dry spells, it pays to present the tree a great drenching two or thrice a month. Goal to maintain the soil moist however nicely drained. In case your Acer is in a pot or container, test 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 may encourage it to develop on the mistaken time of yr 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. Bushes planted in pots or containers will want some assist to outlive the winter. If they will’t be moved to a greenhouse or different sheltered place, the easiest way 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 stop the worst of the chilly from reaching the basis base.

Selecting the Proper Spot

The placement of your Acer can have a major affect on its well being. Japanese maples dislike direct sizzling solar, preferring a spot in dappled shade. Additionally they wish to be sheltered from robust winds and thrive finest in an acidic or impartial soil pH. A potted Acer tree might be moved round to seek out the most effective shady spot. However select your location rigorously when planting a Japanese Maple within the floor as they’re harder to relocate.


Common pruning has a number of advantages, together with serving to air to flow into and serving to stop 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 just a little pruning to take away any lifeless or broken components of the tree and any crossing branches to permit the tree to develop in a horny form.

As with many issues, prevention is best than treatment for preserving Japanese maple timber completely happy and wholesome. In the correct situations, Japanese maple timber are straightforward 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 offers these stunning decorative timber the most effective likelihood at a protracted and wholesome life.