Damage to Japanese Maple

Asked May 29, 2018, 8:08 PM EDT

I have a japanese maple in my backyard that I planted about three years ago. I notice that most of it’s leaves have withered and browned in a matter of days. It is situated in a lower part of our yard but not the lowest point. The ground around it, however, has been saturated for the past week or two. Can you tell me if it’s drowning or diseased and is there anything I can do to save it. I’ve attached a few pictures. Thanks so amuch for any advice you can give me.

Prince George's County Maryland winter damage japanese maple tree

1 Response

This looks like classic frost/cold damage. This damage shows up after the fact. The leaf buds opened but could not sustain themselves because the vascular system was damaged by the frost/cold.
Scratch the branches with your fingernail and look for green tissue. If it is brown, it is dead. Prune dead plant material back to healthy tissue.
Make sure the tree is watered during dry periods. Keep mulch no thicker than several inches and away from the base of the tree.

mh