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Japanese Maple Trees

Q.A Sick Japanese Maple Tree

Zone Osby, Sweden | Rui added on May 2, 2022 | Answered

Hello! My name is Rui and I’m an enthusiast of Japanese maple trees. I have some and would like to have more, but have some difficulties now and then with some dying. I have a couple of cases. 1 – It was a Bonsai. It is a KATSURA. It was outside, taking sun only in the morning and suddenly, it dried, with a few branches coming up from the bottom. I moved to another pot changing the soil and it never recovered. I believe it’s almost dead. Photos nr. 7953/7954 2 – Then I have a BENI MAIKO. This one has been amazing. Bought it in 2014. I pruned it and changed the pot/soil every 2 autumns. 2 or 3 years ago it stopped having that effect of branches with a lot of leaves and it also stopped growing. Last year, some ugly branches started to grow. I didn’t cut those because maybe the upper part isn’t healthy. Photos nr. 7958/7959/7960 I have some questions. Basically what should I do now? Can I still change the soil?(I mean, if you believe the issue is the soil, can I change it now in Spring?) Is rhododendron soil ok? Should I place some rocks in the bottom so that the water drains? Should I fertilize as well? (with rhododendron fertilizer). How often should I change soil? I’m in Sweden, so it’s a bit hard to find in English all the specifics of these plants in a nursery. They are more commercial and lack the deep knowledge for these plants. I hope you can find some time to save me so that I don’t lose the wish to have more and to learn also how to improve their life/quality. Many thanks in advance! Best Regards, Rui Lages

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 2, 2022

They look to have succumbed to an infection. This is usually from overwatering. The green leaved growth that you see is probably that of the root stock. This is a different kind of Japanese Maple than the top that you had purchased.

From here, it will require quite a bit of proper care. Since this is a lot of information to disseminate, I will include a list of articles that will break down what you need to know. These will help:


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Answered on May 2, 2022

Thank you! I will read all that info. Just one question. Can I replant it with another soil? Now? A rhododendron soil is ok?

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