September 26, 2023


New Estate

How To Revive a Dying Japanese Maple Tree

5 min read

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

Japanese maples are famend for bringing dramatic autumn coloration to the backyard. Their compact dimension, swish behavior and vivid purple, orange, purple and golden yellow foliage make these decorative bushes a putting point of interest in any outside area.

Also referred to as Acer palmatum bushes, Japanese maples are sluggish 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 widespread issues, nevertheless, can have an effect on Japanese maple bushes and are value holding 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 flawed with the plant.

Purchase your Acer trees here.

There could 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 go away shrubs feeling and looking dehydrated.

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

Dying Japanese maple tree.Carl Beech, Unsplash.

The best method to uncover whether or not your Japanese maple is clinging to life or has already died is to rigorously reduce away a bit of bark. Take a peak and word the colour of the wooden beneath. Whether it is inexperienced, the tree remains to be alive, and there’s likelihood you possibly can 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 beneath the bark at one other a part of the tree earlier than writing off the entire tree. It’s possible you’ll discover elements of the tree are wholesome, and the useless elements could be pruned away.

Japanese maple bushes are deciduous and enter a dormant section 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 exhibits no signal of its stunning foliage by late spring or early summer time, the tree has doubtless died.

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

The best method to forestall Japanese maples from dying is to be taught what signs it’s best to look out for. If caught early sufficient, most could be remedied, and your tree could 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. When you don’t wish to transfer your Acer palmatum to a shadier a part of the backyard, take into account planting taller vegetation and bushes round it to supply partial shade.

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

Sagging Branches

In case your tree is unhealthy, its branches may start to sag and/or develop into blotchy. This is usually a symptom of poor diet or an insect infestation. Within the case of the previous, feed the tree with all-purpose fertilizer – a slow-release granular selection is ideal.

An insect infestation is usually a bit trickier to cope with. Aphids are significantly interested in Japanese maples and like to choose younger shoots. The only method to eliminate the bugs is to make use of a twig bottle full of 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 will depend on how shortly you’ve taken motion to revive the tree and the steps you’re taking to assist it get better. Often, Japanese maples could be nurtured again to good well being as soon as the problem has been decided and handled.

Like most vegetation, Japanese maple bushes require common upkeep to maintain them wholesome.

Japanese maple tree leaf detail.J Williams, Unsplash.


Maybe crucial of those is common watering. If you’re within the UK or one other space with a number of precipitation, your tree might be watered by nature for a lot of the 12 months. However throughout sizzling and dry spells, it pays to present the tree drenching two or 3 times a month. Intention to maintain the soil moist however properly 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 progress interval. Keep away from feeding in autumn, as this will encourage it to develop on the flawed time of 12 months and adversely have an effect on its course.


Acers planted within the backyard will usually 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, one of the simplest ways to guard Japanese maple bushes from frost is to insulate the pots. Use pot toes or small blocks of wooden to lift 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 situation of your Acer can have a major influence on its well being. Japanese maples dislike direct sizzling solar, preferring a spot in dappled shade. Additionally they prefer to be sheltered from sturdy winds and thrive finest in an acidic or impartial soil pH. A potted Acer tree could be moved round to seek out the perfect shady spot. However select your location rigorously 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 of pruning to take away any useless or broken elements of the tree and any crossing branches to permit the tree to develop in a beautiful form.

As with many issues, prevention is best than remedy for holding Japanese maple bushes completely satisfied and wholesome. In the fitting situations, Japanese maple bushes 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 offers these stunning decorative bushes the perfect likelihood at a protracted and wholesome life.

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