Japanese Maple Bloodgood dying off?

Asked July 29, 2019, 1:46 PM EDT

I have a Japanese Maple - Bloodgood that I planted in the summer last year. It did well through the remainder of last year and just in the last couple of weeks I noticed leaves and branches I think drying out. Two problems I see is that the soil does not drain that well as we have a lot of clay, the other is that it is in full basically all day sun. I guess I assume that one of those or both would have something to do with it but thought I would see if there were any other ideas. Thank you for your time.

Wayne County Michigan brown leaves

1 Response

Hello,

Yes, the tree will do better in well drained soil and afternoon shade. Since it has only been in a year, you could still move it. Move it to a location that gets at least partial shade.

Keep as much soil around the root ball as possible, wrapping it temporarily in burlap to move it. Cut away burlap once it is in the new hole. Burlap underneath the root ball doesn’t have to be removed. Don’t use plastic.

When planting it, find the root collar, the area that flares out slight at the bottom of the trunk where the large roots begin. That area should remain above the soil line. Make a mulch circle around the tree at least 4 feet in diameter, 6-8 feet would be better. Remove sod, and place a 3-4 inch deep circle of mulch. Do not pile mulch against the trunk of the tree. This will keep the roots moist, and remove competition from the grass, and is much easier to mow around. Keep the tree moist but not soggy until the ground freezes.

You can stake the tree in the new location, but remove the stake within one year. See safe staking technique in the plantin guide, below.

Young trees have thin bark, you may use a tree wrap to protect it the first 3-4 winters, being sure to remove the wrap each spring, then replace it in fall.

Here is a planting guide. See pages 6-15 in particular.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5368392.pdf

And a reference on the plant-

http://www.pnwplants.wsu.edu/PlantDisplay.aspx?PlantID=153

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