Q.What’s Going On With My Red Maple Sapling Not Growing Leaves?
I have a potted red maple tree (potted while it gets big enough to plant per my city’s shade tree requirements) and it hasn’t been growing leaves on the branches this season. It has been, however, growing offshoots along the trunk so I know it’s not dead. I initially plucked them off when they started sprouting but still didn’t see any growth on top. Any advice?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It looks like the tree top has failed. If this is a grafted Maple, which is likely, then what is growing from the bottom is likely another type of Maple.
This happens for several reasons, but I suspect that the soil remains too wet. This will cause scion failure, almost always.
Make sure that the container has plenty of drainage holes (It helps to have it raised on something so that the water can drain out freely) and that it only receives water once the top 3 or 4 inches is completely dry.
What you can do from here is treat the tree using a fungicide. Cut off anything that refuses to leaf out, and choose one leader to become your new tree.
Here are some articles that will help:
Thank you so much for your quick and comprehensive answer! Looks like I’ve got some work to do.