How to tree care: tip burn on a Japanese maple

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There are several causes for tip burn on a Japanese maple; one of the most popular is the stress of being newly planted. If your tree looks bad for an extended period, though, search for other factors that may be causing burned leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Japanese maple
  • Well-drained soil
  • Fertilizer
  • White vinegar
  • Give trees the proper amount of sun. Although Japanese maple trees can tolerate full sun, full, strong sun all day can burn the leaves. If your Japanese maple is in excessive heat all day, try providing a little more shade.

  • Keep the Japanese maple well watered. Allowing your Japanese maple to dry out in hot weather is another cause of tip burn. Maples have shallow roots and like consistent watering. Do not let your maple tree dry out completely, but don't keep it soggy, either. If your Japanese maple is in a pot, it will become dried out much more quickly and will require more frequent watering. To water your tree, fill a bucket and let it sit for a day or so before watering so that any chlorine has a chance to dissipate. Adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water will help get rid of the salts in the soil.

  • Give your Japanese maple tree acidic, well-draining soil. Adding coffee grounds will add acidity to the soil. Mulch can help keep in the water and also adds acidity. Be sure to keep mulch a few inches away from the trunk of your maple. Also, fertilize your tree with a fertilizer specifically designated for Japanese maple trees.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tip burn occurs around the edge of the leaves; if more of the leaf is involved, it could be a tree disease. Take a sample to your local arborist or nursery for assistance.
  • Don't use softened water on your Japanese maple.

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