Japanese maple half dead

Asked August 16, 2020, 12:47 PM EDT

Hi all. I have an older Japanese maple tree and this year one major limb did not leaf out. I’m wondering 1. Why? 2. Do I trim only that part off even though the dead limb goes to earth part of trunk. 3. Take the whole thing down :=( Thanks for your advise Maria

Cecil County Maryland

1 Response

These trees are very susceptible to poor site problems, environmental issues (heat, drought, freeze), poor planting techniques, etc. and these issues can affect the branches and/or roots. You can scratch the bark with your fingernail and look for green tissue. If you see it, the branch is still viable. If brown or gray it is dead and needs to be removed. Here is more on Japanese maples and how to grow them successfully in your landscape. https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/?s=japanese+maples

It would be helpful to submit photos of the whole tree, around the base of the tree, and affected foliage so we can see what you are dealing with.

Marian