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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
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My japanese maple started to bloom when we had the nice weather

Resolved Question:

My japanese maple started to bloom when we had the nice weather then it stopped blooming apart from a couple of branches which have got lovely leaves on them but the rest of the tree is doing nothing. We have had the tree for 22yrs, can you help I would hate to loose the tree.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.

I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with your maple. Some additional information will be helpful.

After the warm weather, did your area experience a cold snap, with frost?

Do some of the branches look dead, with no growth at all? If you're not sure, use your fingernail to scrape off a bit of bark on a smaller twig. Is there green wood underneath?

Thank you.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Anna


Yes we did have a cold snap and I have just been out to scrape the branches with no leaves on and one of the branches snaped off. The couple of branches that have leaves on have got new shoots coming on the branch and about a foot from the bottom of the tree it has small branches full of leaves all round the trunk. Hope you can help.


Thanks Pat.

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me, Pat. Once a Japanese maple starts to leaf out in the spring, it is very susceptible to cold snaps. The new growth will freeze and usually turn black. However, a cold spell doesn't kill the large branches, just the new soft growth. when a branch snaps off, it is dead. That part of the tree will never grow back. That can be the result of an extra cold winter, too little or too much water, nutritional deficiencies, damage to the roots, or toxins. For example, if a root was cut off during a yard or construction project, at least part of the tree would die. Too much mulch or soil on top of roots that surface can also be harmful. It's best to leave the roots that come through the soil uncovered. However, the soil you added is also not likely to be the source of the problem.

All you can do now is prune off all the dead branches, and then give the tree excellent care. Prune back to living wood, and new growth will usually sprout from the cut. Fertilize with a high-quality fertilizer that provides macro and micro-nutrients.Osmocote is a good one. If you can't find it in a local nursery or garden center, here is an online source in the UK:

Throughout the growing season, be sure the tree is evenly watered to avoid too much moisture or inadequate moisture.

You can take the above steps on your own, but it would be better yet to consult an arborist. When a tree is under this much stress, pests and diseases can gain a foothold and an arborist cna help you prevent that. A good arborist will also know how to prune the tree to promote a nice shape, and how best to apply fertilizer. Here is where you can find a certified arborist:

If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope that whatever approach you take, you'll be able to save your tree.

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