My Beloved Japanese Maple is Ailing!

potterstreet(08033)October 3, 2012


I live in Haddonfield, NJ very close to Philadelphia. I have a very large - thirty something feet - Japanese Maple that takes up half of my side lot. Recently, when looking out of my third floor window, I noticed that the top branches were very sparsely leafed. The few leaves that are on top are very small.

I am worried about it as this tree was one of the reasons we bought this house. It is a showstopper.

Any clues as to what may be causing this and do you think I should get a professional in to look at it? I talked to one landscaper and he said that perhaps it is nearing the end of its life cycle. It's at least 100 years old because I have a picture of our house from around the turn of the century and this tree is in it, albeit very small.

Our street is shady. I get very little sun. Our town is chock full of majestic old trees and has a very active shade tree commission, but I've noticed a lot of trees dying lately, but mostly oaks and maples. Could tjis be related? Thanks so much!!!


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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

Call the shade tree commission and ask their advice.
If oaks and maples are dying, they'll all ready be concerned. These babies are of the tougher varieties.

The landscaper could be correct. When I bought 10 years ago, there was a HUGE, 1/2 dead oak on the property. Probably 8' around. The definitive answer(s) were that 1) it was definitely at the end of its life, and 2) the drought we'd been having didn't help.

I would also do my best to get close-up pics of the leaves at every stage during the year. Perhaps it can be identified and replaced. If not, since it's so old, perhaps matched. Have you done any research on the house to see if there's maybe an old newspaper article about the tree being planted? JMs weren't common here at that time of the world.

Now, on a probably unrelated note, I lost a Sanzani to a root fungus. Died from the top down. But quickly.

I'll be watching to see what you find. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 11:31AM
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