Skeeter's Broom or maybe not

Asked October 28, 2016, 4:35 PM EDT

I have what is supposed to be Skeeter's Broom variety of Japanese Maple. There are four places where branches fork and one side of the fork grows a different looking limb and much larger leaves than the other side of the fork. The leaves on the limbs with the larger leaves are red throughout summer. The leaves on the rest of the tree are green throughout summer. How can this be possible? How can a tree grow two distinctly different branches with totally different leaves from what is found on the rest of the tree?

Lexington County South Carolina japanese maple possible sport

1 Response

We cannot say for sure but this may be a reversion back to the wild type or a possible 'sport'. This is a type of mutation and can happen to plants occasionally. This takes place at a chromosomal level and is a random event.
We recommend that you prune this out as it is not typical of the rest of the growth.
mh