We have a 25+ year old Japanese maple, which for some reason is not leafing up like it used to. The leaf cover is only at the extremities of a few branches; otherwise, the tree is bear. Up until this year, it has been great, full of leaves; but it now looks dead. If it has leaves, albeit sparce, there must be life in it. I need some suggestions as to what might cause this, and maybe some remedies.
Very Sick Japanese Maple
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
For a Japanese maple of that age, there is a chance that it is dying from simple old age. It depends on the variety, but if it is a smaller variety, it typically have a much shorter lifespan than the larger ones.
As far as possible diseases, this article has several possibilities that you can use to see if it might be what is affecting your tree: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/japanese-maple/japanese-maple-problems.htm