How To Revive a Dying Japanese Maple Tree

Companion Submit

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

Japanese maples are famend for bringing dramatic autumn colour to the backyard. Their compact measurement, swish behavior and vivid purple, orange, purple and golden yellow foliage make these decorative timber a hanging focus in any outside house.

Also called 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 take care of. Some frequent issues, nonetheless, can have an effect on Japanese maple timber and are value conserving a watch out for.

Dying Japanese maple tree leaves.JWilliams, Unsplash.

In case your Japanese maple isn’t trying its greatest, it may be an indication there’s something critically fallacious 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 might depart 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 lower away a bit bark. Take a peak and be aware the colour of the wooden beneath. Whether it is inexperienced, the tree remains to be alive, and there’s a great 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 lifeless. Nonetheless, it’s value trying beneath 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 lifeless components could 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 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 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 you must 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 generally is a signal that your tree is being scorched by the solar. In case 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 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 a great soak. The very last thing you need is to encourage root rot, nonetheless. So make sure the soil drains properly and doesn’t turn out to be 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 would possibly start to sag and/or turn out to be 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 drawn to Japanese maples and like to decide on younger shoots. The only method to eliminate the bugs is to make use of a sprig bottle full of 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 get well. Often, Japanese maples could 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 a lot of precipitation, your tree shall be watered by nature for a lot of the 12 months. However throughout sizzling and dry spells, it pays to offer the tree a great drenching two or thrice a month. Intention to maintain the soil moist however properly 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 could encourage it to develop on the fallacious 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, 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 forestall the worst of the chilly from reaching the foundation base.

Selecting the Proper Spot

The placement of your Acer could have a major impression on its well being. Japanese maples dislike direct sizzling solar, preferring a spot in dappled shade. In addition they wish to be sheltered from sturdy winds and thrive greatest in an acidic or impartial soil pH. A potted Acer tree could be moved round to search out the perfect 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 forestall fungus from showing. One of the best time to prune Japanese maples is throughout the dormant season, from November to January. Don’t get carried away, however a bit 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 remedy for conserving Japanese maple timber pleased and wholesome. In the suitable situations, Japanese maple timber are straightforward to develop and require little upkeep. Making certain they’re planted in well-draining soil, in a spot out of harsh daylight, and in chilly winds offers these lovely decorative timber the perfect likelihood at a protracted and wholesome life.