Help My Japanese Maple Tree

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Gordond, May 1, 2010.

  1. Gordond

    Gordond Member

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    Location:
    Cumming, Georgia USA
    I have transplanted Japanese Maple Tree 3 weeks ago and it gets full sun and I water every day. The ends of leaves are turning brown , see attached what can I do?
     

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  2. Marpole

    Marpole Member

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    Vancouver B.C., Canada
    Sunburn? To my knowledge Japanese Maples like morning sun and part shade in the afternoon, but I'm not as much of an expert as some of the people on this forum though. The picture of the maple in this thread looks very similar to what your jm is going through though.

    Hope I could help a little,
    Marpole
     
  3. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Watering every day seems vastly excessive to me
    A good watering once a week would be more than sufficient over here
     
  4. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    Full sun in Georgia is not a good place for a Japanese maple. It will burn. I'm in Central Illinois and have had to move one because it got too much sun in 1/2 day of it. From your picture it looks like you wanted it to be an accent plant in a prominent place and it looks great, but you need to move it. Do your research and you can find some other small tree to be an accent. Look into dwarf gingkos or other maples that can take full sun. There are some nice variegated ones that would be candidates.
    Kay
     
  5. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    South Carolina, USA
    It is true that full sun is not recommended for a laceleaf in the south, as leaf scorch is inevitable. Usually we do not see this burn until summer (which is related more to dehydration at the tips of the leaves than from direct sunlight). However, there are many laceleafs planted in full sun in my area (even in parking lots around fast food restaurants and car dealerships). Most of them survive, but they exhibit severe leaf scorch by mid summer until they are well established, then they show minor scorch.

    Once a week watering would not be sufficient over here on a newly transplanted tree. However, if you have our wonderful hardpan clay soil like I do, watering every day could be too much unless you have planted on a slight berm or have heavily composted the area to improve drainage. If you are in south GA and have sandy soil, you will need to water well but maybe only every other day or twice a week thoroughly. We have had temperatures in the mid to high eighties here for a few weeks, so I assume you have had similar weather.

    I would attribute the burn primarily to transplant shock. More than likely you damaged enough roots during the move that the plant cannot take up enough moisture to keep the leaf tips from scorching in the sunny, hot and (probably windy) weather we've had. A good moist root system will be unable to keep a laceleaf from scorching by late summer in full sun here, so a damaged root system shouldn't be able to do it in late spring either.

    If I were you I would dig down beside the rootball to inspect the bottom of your hole. If it is wet and soggy, back down on your watering a little but keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't dry out. If it is dry then increase your watering but on less frequent intervals, but be careful to keep the roots from being flooded. The maple will sustain greater damage by being over watered than getting a little dry and dropping a few leaves.

    For future reference try to transplant trees in the fall, especially one as valuable as your tree.
     
  6. mjplax3

    mjplax3 Member

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    I don't claim to be an expert by any means but I recently planted a Tamukeyama in front of my house. It gets about 6 hours of sun but its afternoon sun and we've already had some hot and humid days here in VA.

    Tamukeyamas, in general, do very well in hot/humid climates. If your maple doesn't make it, I would reccommend the Tamukeyama. In fact, my particular specimen currently shows some green variation on leaves that are shaded by some of the upper foliage, meaning that it can handle even more sun than it is getting now.

    I water about once every day since it is a recent transplant but you really need to make sure the soil stayes moist and not dry or soggy. Mulching can help regulate soil moisture levels and temp.

    Good Luck.
     
  7. Acer Glade

    Acer Glade Member

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    I would not move it just now. Everyday watering is excessive and never water the leaves in bright sun. Temporarily put up a garden parasol while you decide what to do. It's sun scorch since its the tips of the leaves that turning brown. In the evening try misting it using a misting attachment. If you wish to move it, dig out with as much soil around the rootball and wrapped with something to retain the soil so as not to disturb the 3 weeks old rootball. Good luck.
     
  8. bkb

    bkb Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2010
  9. mapledia

    mapledia Active Member

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    I agree with the rest. In your part of the country, I think leaf burn is the likely culprit. Any way to provide some protection for this plant? Mine in SE Oregon suffer from the same problem, but they don't get any morning light, only receive noon-time sunshine, and then they get relief once again in late afternoon, so they do pretty well. But even with this protection, they still have burned tips from time to time.

    Good luck.
    mapledia
     
  10. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I move my trees around all the time and I have found that if you move a tree which has been in shade into sun, no matter how much water you will give it you will get leaf burn. I do not know "why" but from what I have seen the leaves on the shade side have a different color from the sun side so by changing the trees position to the sun later in the year, you are rapid change the tree equal to walking out of the dark and into bright light and asking yourself why you can see.
    As for soil, that too has a big factor in how your tree reacts to sunlight. You can water practically hourly and if you live in a very sandy soil it still may not seem like enough water.
     
  11. mapledia

    mapledia Active Member

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    Hey, amazingmaples, you're on to something here. Plant leaves have what's called a "cuticle" and it's what protects leaves from sunburn and other assaults. When you move a maple from a shady spot to a sunny one, you will need to do is very gradually (like over 2-3 weeks) to give the leaves time to develop a defense (a cuticle) against getting more sun. If you don't do this, the leaves will get sunburned and go brown on you. You are correct that if you place your plant in a sunnier location, it will probably require more water, but that's not the whole picture. The leaves need time to adjust to the new environment.
    mapledia
     
  12. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I move my trees daily just to see some of the different color combinations. I have found that some trees just can not be moved from shade to sun without suffering some leaf damage even watering twice a day. One of my favorite trees, Murakumo is one tree which I have not had any luck with other than in the shade, this fact is not easy for me since I have very little share in both of my gardens,
     

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