Identification: Bihou Japanese maple problem

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Rosita, Jun 21, 2023.

  1. Rosita

    Rosita Member

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    The leaves on my Japanese maple are covered in yellow spots and the tips of some of the branches seem to be dying back. I’ve attached a photo. The maple is three years old. Can anyone tell me what is wrong with the tree and is there anything I can do to help it?
    Thanks
    Lesley
     

    Attached Files:

  2. kines

    kines Active Member

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    While you're awaiting an answer from someone who knows more than me and could possibly offer solutions, I can at least offer you the comfort of knowing that you're not alone with that cultivar's issues:

    https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/acer-palmatum-buyer-beware.63480/page-2

    https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/acer-palmatum-bi-hoo.9671/

    Maybe amongst the potential solutions to be considered would be to simply choose a more reliable cultivar. That's what I would do. And have done, in similar circumstances.

    Best of luck!

    KN
     
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  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi Lesley, unfortunately Bi hoo is well known for die back. If you get a bad one, it will get smaller and smaller until its no more. I had one of these and I removed it this year. I won't be replacing it....
    As far as the leaves are concerned, IMO it looks like iron chlorosis. The treatment is to apply chelated iron around the base of the tree and water in. If your soil is deficient in iron then a regular yearly treatment is the way forward.
     
  4. Rosita

    Rosita Member

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    Thanks very much for the replies. I wish I would have had this information when I was researching it but I never came across it. It’s really disappointing to have invested 3 years in this tree since it had just started to provide some much needed shade in my garden. I will be looking to replace it with a small drought tolerant fast growing tree because with the forecasted future hot summers shade will be critical. I do have a sango kaku that is doing beautifully so I won’t be without a Japanese maple.
    Thank you
    Lesley
     
    Acerholic likes this.
  5. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I wouldn't! ;0)

    I've had one one for almost 10 years and it's the first time I've seen brown spots on the leaves. It's such a particular, though fragile one, that I really want to keep it alive.

    To me, the motto for this one is "Never Dispair!"...
     
  6. kines

    kines Active Member

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    I respect AlainK's approach to this as well.

    However, I have both limited space and patience, and there are SO many beautiful cultivars to choose from (most of which are not high maintenance) that there's no place in my garden (or life) for a cultivar like Bihou. But Lesley, you can have your cake and eat it too! Try picking up another cultivar you like, keep it potted for a few years while you see if you can nurse Bihou out of its funk. If you can't you've got your replacement, and if you can, then you simply have another beautiful specimen to admire!
     
  7. Rosita

    Rosita Member

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    Thanks. That’s an option. I’ll see how the Bihou does this summer but if there isn’t any improvement by the fall he will have to go. I want to have a healthy tree established and growing as soon as I can because that spot really needs a small shade tree to protect the plants nearby. Finding one that fits the spot might take some time.
    Lesley
     
  8. Cattwooduk

    Cattwooduk Well-Known Member

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    I had one I bought in October a number of years back, and come the following spring it leafed out and immediately failed before it fully flushed the growth. Looked like the whole thing just gave up, leaves wilted and turned black before the stems began dying back.

    Real shame as the colours are great, but I also haven't bothered getting another.
     

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