Laceleaf Japanese Maple Problem

jcat(z7PA)May 2, 2006

We have a four year old laceleaf JM. It had been wonderful until now. I live in suburbs of Philly, PA. The leaves of the maple are all in and red, but are extremely droopy. They are not withering and dropping off, but are just way droopy. Looks like it needs a drink. I gave it an very, very slow 3 hour drink. It doesn't look any better. It has been pretty dry here so I thought it might be thirsty. It is well mulced and I don't have anything planted under it. Around it (some perennials and a few annuals) but not under it. It gets morning sun and is in shade from about 4pm on.

Any ideas of what is wrong? We had a laceleaf in the front of our house about 5 years ago (southwest exposure). We had it one year and the following spring it came up and when the leaves started coming in, they shriveled and died. We had the nursery where we bought it take a look and they said it was diseased and not to put another maple there. They replaced it for us w/something else (great nursery!) The maple we have now was purchased from a different place and is in the back of our house. It is not doing the same thing as the maple that died. It has been looking great and growing. We do prune the lower branches in the fall because we like how it looks seeing the trunk. The bottom of the trunk looks like the bark has split but it doesn't seem soft, as it would if it were rotted. I thought it may have split from growing. The trunk is about as thick as my forearm (I'm female).

Any help anyone can give w/be appreciated. Thanks.

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What is your soil condition?
What kind of humidity do you have?
How cool does it stay or how hot does it get?
If it gets hot do you spray around to cool the yard?

Think of it like this:
Where do you find maples?
I am in California and if I want to find a maple I will have
to go inland and look along stream banks and in shaded canyons. That means two things to me: they like water and they like shade or maybe coolness that shade affords them.
So if the ground they are in gets hot they may become very unhappy!!!
As a deciduous tree the accumulated leaf litter does have a cooling effect on the surface of the soil! So maybe the tree is trying to keep itself cool and is unable to do so.

So check out the soil. Get a bunch of potted ferns or something you like and stick under that tree and water them every day. Spray the air or mist down the tree.

I cannot say that the above will work. It is easy to write these words but even an image is not enough to provide a solid answer as you need to feel the leaves, touch the earth at mid day, develop a sense of that image you saw that caused you to want to plant one of these fantastic trees and understand it from that basis.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 12:27AM
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ckramos(Mill Creek, WA)

if it's droopy and and it's not brown, but black-ish, then you're over watering.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 2:08PM
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