Bloodgood Red Maple – Leaf Scorch

Q: I have a Bloodgood Red Maple, which has been mostly healthy and which I have cared for well. However, in late summer its leaves become crisp and brown. In spring, new leaves grow and the tree seems healthy again. This summer, only the leaves on the top half of the tree died. Why do the leaves turn brown?

A: Exposure to the sun has caused water problems for your ‘Bloodgood’, and the crispy leaves prove it. My guess is that the upper limbs provide the part-shade conditions ‘Bloodgood’ requires, so the lower leaves look fine. Despite your watering regimen, you’ll constantly have problems with leaf scorch unless the tree has filtered shade in which to grow; consider moving it to a shadier spot.

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