How Can I Make My Autumn Moon Maple Look Better?

Q: I have an Autumn Moon maple that is planted in a thirty-inch glazed pot. It gets morning to mid-day sun. It’s been in the same spot for two and one-half years. It produces foliage each spring but by midsummer half of the leaves turn brown The tree starts to leaf out again in early fall. What do I need to do to have a better looking tree throughout the summer? 

A: My suspicion is that the soil in the pot gets too dry more than once in the summer. When roots partially dry out, it takes them at least a month to recover. If they get dry again during that time, the tree is set back even further. They recover somewhat when temperatures begin to cool. Keep an eye on the leaves daily when temperatures rise in mid-June. If leaf tips begin to droop, immediately flood the pot.