Leaves on my Japanese Maple are wilted

Discussion in 'Maples' started by NewtoJM, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. NewtoJM

    NewtoJM Member

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    Location:
    Flushing, New York, USA
    We planted our first tree, a 6' Japanese Maple in our Front Yard 5 days ago. My husband planted the tree with a gardener. He watered the tree for 2 days then left for a 2 month business trip. Before he left, I was told to water the tree twice a day, and make sure the soil feels moist at all time. I found many wilted leaves on my first day of taking care of this tree. I watered the tree as instructed for 2 days. I found more wilted leaves. Many have fallen off. I asked the gardener for help yesterday. He said I have not given it enough water. He watered the tree for me yesterday. This morning, I found almost 50% of the leaves on the ground, even the green ones. Does anyone know what had happened?? Is this tree going to die?? HELP!
     
  2. Worthy42

    Worthy42 Active Member

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    It sounds to me like the tree got too much water, probably as a result of your husband's instructions to "keep it moist all the time." Two times a day, every day, is too much, in my estimation.

    What have temperatures in Flushing, NY been like in the last week? Upper 80s/low 90s? This could have compounded the problem. July is not ideal planting time in the Northeast. That's why you start to see a lot of sales.

    If you can provide us with any additional information, this would help. Obviously, a picture is ideal, but also whether the tree was previously in a pot, was dug from the ground, was in burlap, etc.
     
  3. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    I agree that watering the tree 2 x per day is likely what's killing the tree. Gently surprised that the gardener recommended more water after hearing your story. If the tree does die you may find planting in fall offers more leniency in terms of the water requirements. Post a pic! and check out the FAQ (how to plant a maple) if you haven't already
     
  4. Worthy42

    Worthy42 Active Member

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    Agree, Paxi. May be time to interview for a new gardner.
     
  5. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    hi your maple is in over watering....
     
  6. NewtoJM

    NewtoJM Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. I have been working like crazy for the last couple days. I will post pictures over the weekend. But I think the tree is alive. It has not shed leaves yesterday, and I think I saw green leaves again.
     
  7. NewtoJM

    NewtoJM Member

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    My JM is alive. It seemed to have more green leaves. I have been monitoring the water situation with a bit more care. If this tree survived, I am thinking of getting another one. The weeping kind with long foliage. Wish me luck and thanks.
     

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  8. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    ok your maple is in good health!
     
  9. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I saw this thread and had to write. This same thing is happening to one of my maples. The big difference is that it has been growing vigorously for years in this site. I have done nothing to it (no digging around it, spraying, etc.) and it is in a sheltered site, nothing could have blown in, etc. We have had a lot of rain this year, but it is in a good draining area, on a slight slope. I cannot figure out what it could be. About 1/3 of the leaves have curled up and it's not even like just on one branch or anything that makes sense. The branches don't seem to be turning black or anything, so far. I guess something like a mole or chipmunk could have destroyed roots, but other than that I am baffled. It hasn't been hot, has barely reached 90 faren. and it's pretty shaded. Oh, if forgot to say it's A. palm. 'Beni Otake'. Has anyone ever had this happen to an established tree? If so, do you know the cause? I wonder what's going to be the result, if more leaves will curl and die, if the tree will die (I hope not, it's one of my favorites), or what?
    Kay
     
  10. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    It never ceases to amaze me the sort of temperatures Japanese maples have to (and do) endure
    Over here we would rarely see temperatures in the seventies yet my maples can suffer sun and, admittedly, wind damage on occasion
    To hear talk of temperatures approaching the nineties and surprise that it has affected a tree just makes my mind boggle :)
    We had 6 weeks of very dry weather back in May. A few trees suffered as a result, notably Kamagata which had been absolutely stunning last year, A lot of die back and leaf shrivel. It looked awful. All I have done is to trim back the dead shoots and it looks fine. I also think it will be fine next year although we obviously have to wait and see
    All I am saying is that differing climatic changes every year affect different trees in different ways. Unless there is an obvious problem that can be addressed, I think all we can do is as I have done to my Kamagata. Even though it was a well established tree it was probably affected by the very dry weather, and because it was established it didn't get any water from me
    The main reasons for leaves to curl and die are sun (heat) wind, over watered or under watered (dehydration)
    Not the only reasons, of course, but the main ones
    If there is no sign of disease I wouldn't panic too much .......
     
  11. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    SAm,
    Then I will have to think that the only difference this year is the massive amounts of rainfall we have received. My next question is, if the branches look healthy under the dead leaves, should I still cut back or should I wait and see?
    Kay
     
  12. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, it happens to some of my established maples all the time. I do not know the cause. Agree that moles could be the reason. And it is different from normal sunburn or water stress (too much or too little). In the latter case most of the leaves curl up a bit but do not completely fall off.
    As far as I understand Kay's description, here we are talking about entire branches losing all the leaves while other branches have perfectly green (or red) leaves. The difference with Verticillium albo-atrum is, in my view, the fact that the branches remain green and may put up a second growth before the end of the season.

    Gomero
     
  13. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Kay ... I waited for almost two months before I cut back. I finally just couldn't stand the poor look of the tree any longer ........
     

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