Japanese maple tree seems to be dying
We have three older Japanese maples in our yard. One of them has seemed to be dying over the course of the last two years, as large swaths of bark have been peeling from branches which no longer produce leaves. This has continued until only the center parts of the tree are still producing leaves. One of our other maples has a small branch that now seems to be barren. Can you advise as to what this problem may be and how to address it? Many thanks, Deryl Davis
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The peeling bark and lack of leaves for several seasons suggests that those branches are dead. This could have happened because of winter damage or a disease. You can prune those branches out, wiping your shears with a 10% bleach solution between cuts to avoid spreading any disease.
See this article about winter damage:
Verticillium wilt is a fungal disease that can cause the symptoms you describe. See these articles: