Maple – Brown Stems Curled Leaves

Color red

Q: The maple on my deck gets lots of filtered light. The stems are turning brown and the leaves are curling up. Any idea what’s going on? 

A: The leaf curling is likely caused by an interrupted water supply. I’m guessing that sometime recently the soil in the pot dried out. Either you didn’t water it for a couple of days or the roots in the pot got too hot to absorb water correctly. Tree root growth slows down when soil temperatures exceed 86 degrees. Roots die when soil temperatures rise above 96 degrees. When summer temperatures are regularly in the 90s, it’s easy for the soil in pots to exceed these temperatures. You can try to save this tree by checking the soil each day with your fingers. If it’s dry, be sure to soak it thoroughly. Another option is to move the tree to a larger container where the soil can hold more moisture and it is less likely to heat up.

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