Care for Japanese Maple

Asked June 27, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT

I have a very large Japanese Maple within a patio area on the east side of my house. The lower portions get morning sun. The upper portions extend above the house. I have a metal roof. I am losing a number of upper branches and many of the leaves above roof line are withered and brown. I water it at least weekly. What else can I do to keep it from going downhill?

Bernalillo County New Mexico

1 Response

Most likely, the upper leaves and branches are not able to tolerate our full sun and heat. Japanese maples do best in light shade, or with morning light (such as the eastern exposure). However, I very often see that the upper branches and leaves get stressed once they grow higher than the house that is shading them. You could try watering more, that may help if anything will. Make sure you are watering as broadly as the patio area allows, and long enough for it to soak into the soil at least 16 inches. As a last resort, have an arborist do reduction pruning on the upper branches to bring them back within the comfort zone.