Bloodgood Japanese Maple – Not Staying Red

Q: My beautiful Bloodgood maple didn’t turn red this year. Here’s what it looks like in December. What could be wrong with it? I splurged on this tree to honor my gardener father who had a Bloodgood that he loved.

A: ‘Bloodgood’ maple is quite variable in its behavior as it responds to summer heat and available sunshine. Different combinations of both give different results.

In a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade in mid-summer, ‘Bloodgood’ will usually stay reddish but may go green-bronze. In more sunshine and heat, it turns green by September.

There is also some variability in ‘Bloodgood’ genetics. Some trees are grafted but some are simply ‘Bloodgood’ trees grown from seed.

It’s also possible that this year’s (Nov, 2014) early freeze froze the leaves on the tree before they had a chance to go through the processes that initiate leaf drop.

That said, my bet is that your tree is fine, even if holding its leaves longer than usual.

maple Bloodgood brown leaves in winter

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