Japanese Red Maple Wilt?
I have a JRM that is showing signs of dying (pictures provided) starting this year. Assuming it is some form of wilt, is there anything that can be done to save this tree? The tree is on the west side of my home with generally good noon - evening light. I am located on the west side of Church Creek, just outside of Annapolis off of the South River.
Japanese maples in general are subject to many environmental stressors such as drought, poor drainage, too much moisture, temperature extremes, too much mulch, planting too deeply, soil compaction, etc. Also, with Japanese maples the bark can freeze and kill the cambium which can cause dieback. This is a possibility. We really cannot say if the tree was subject to a wilt disease and if so, there is no control.
All you can do is prune dead branches, keep the tree watered during dry periods, and make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and away from the trunk. There is not mulch else you can do. You will most likely need to consider removal in the future. See our publication on abiotic plant problems http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG86%20Common%20Abio...