Leaves on my Japanese Maple are curling up and turning brown. What is going on?

Asked August 28, 2019, 10:40 AM EDT

I was out of town July 16-Aug 22. When I returned home, the leaves on this Japanese Maple have curled and are turning brown. The same thing happened around this time last year with no adverse impact in the spring. I am attaching a picture from late May and 2 from this morning, one of which shows white bugs on the underside of a leaf. Any help much appreciated. Laura

Montgomery County Maryland abiotic issues japanese maple tree

1 Response

The browning on the leaves looks like a type of root issue. This may be too much moisture or not enough moisture for the root system. The white bugs on the leaf undersides are planthoppers and are not causing damage. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/planthoppers-flowers

Japanese maples are sensitive to changing soil conditions. They like a moist well drained soil in morning sun and afternoon shade. Check the moisture in the area and water deeply during dry periods. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and away from the base of the trunk.
Here is our blog on how to grow Japanaese maples in the landscape