Q: My beautiful Japanese maple never turned red this year but the leaves turned black. Do you have an explanation?
A: My guess is that this joins the phenomenon of “My ginkgo didn’t turn yellow this fall!”
I saw brilliant red maples and oaks, but something in the environment interfered with the normal progression of green to red that your Japanese maple typically exhibits.
I’m theorizing that excess rain had something to do with it….but why only certain maples were affected is anybody’s guess.
I saw a sweetgum last fall that was almost jet black, while those around it were green.
Mother Nature knows why…but she’s not telling.