Bloodgood Red Maple – Crispy Leaves

Q: I planted above tree about 5 yr. ago.The plant was small – 1/2″ diameter or less. It is now about 2 – 2 1/2″ diameter, very healthy but from the beginning it seemed to develop brown, dead, crisp leaves in late summer.

Tree is facing S.W. and is about 4″ from the side of my house. I do NOT over fertilize & do NOT use high nitrogen mix. In spring all new leaves develop like nothing happened, tree is healthy & grows just fine.

However this year (for the first time) only 1/2 half of the tree leaves were affected (top half of tree) bottom were fine & turned Bright red in fall. I do water all summer (only once each week during hot dry periods).

The fall color was extra beautiful on remaining leaves why do many leaves turn brown / dry up by late summer?

A: The southwest exposure presaged water problems for your ‘Bloodgood’, and the crispy leaves prove it. My guess is that the upper limbs provided the part-shade conditions ‘Bloodgood’ requires, so the lower leaves looked 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.

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