Q: Several of my Japanese maples have appeared to have survived the cold snap, but then, all of a sudden the leaves wilt then fall off. Do you know of any reasons for the sickness? Can I expect them to survive?
A: One of my Japanese maple friends says:
“I recommend that in addition to light fertilization and limited pruning, gardeners should look at protecting the crown of their trees, especially the dissectum (laceleaf) Japanese maple varieties. Many of these trees have insufficient protection from what is looking to be a very brutal summer. Without a good leaf canopy to protect the upper trunk, the trunk will be susceptible to sun burn damage, which in severe cases results in die back of the crown leading to more exposure and more damage. For my clients with dissectum maples with exposed crowns I will be erecting a protective cover of shade cloth to help the trees through this summer and aid in their recovery.”