Brown edges on Autumn Blaze Maple leaves

Asked October 15, 2018, 6:57 PM EDT

Even before the recent cold snap, my autumn blaze maple tree is showing signs of stress. The leaves that normally turn bright red in the fall are red only in the centers and the rest of each leaf has turned dry and brown. Does it need a certain nutrient?

Douglas County Colorado

1 Response

Autumn blaze maples can be gorgeous, but they can have problems in Colorado. They are prone to iron chlorosis in our alkaline soils, where the pH makes iron less available to the plant roots, and the leaves look yellowish. It is very hard to adjust soil pH, it is better to find plants that can survive in the soils you have. Also, the Autumn Blaze is not at all drought tolerant, it needs lots of water all year long. Lack of water is probably why your tree's leaves are dry and brown, not lack of nutrients. The past 2 years have been very dry, so the tree is showing signs of cumulative water stress. Here are CSU articles about general watering and winter wintering.
http://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/trees-shrubs-vines/1719-watering/ http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/fall-and-winter-watering-7-211/