Dwarf Japanese Maple
Our Japanese maple began showing discoloration of its leaves a few weeks ago. They almost appear to be bleaching out. It does not look as if there are any pests on the tree and nothing has been sprayed on it and there seems to be a lot of healthy foliage as well. What could be causing this problem and is there anything that can be done about it? Thanks.
Baltimore County Maryland
This looks like symptoms of cold damage and we are receiving photos of Japanese maples like this from all over the state. Many plants were lured out of dormancy and then were hit with frosts and cold temperatures recently. On some trees we are also noticing damage on the top growth versus the bottom growth. This may be due to warmth from the ground area and bottom growth was not affected.
These damaged portions will eventually drop out. If the tree is otherwise healthy, it will push out new growth this spring/summer. No treatment is necessary.
Keep your tree well watered during dry periods and make sure mulch is no thicker than 2"-3" inches deep and kept away from the trunk. You can send us more photos this season, if you notice additional symptoms.