Scorched maple leaves.. why?

Hi all… i’m having some troubles with my mountain maple. Are these laves sun scorched (i don’t normally keep it in full sun)? or water shorage scorched? oor myabe my water is to acidic (i live in london with hardwater, i’ve started collecting rainwater now tho) Any tips to getting healthier foliage? Hope you can help me :pray:

Welcome Fred - were you going to send a picture of those leaves?

Thank you don! I must have have forgot to uploads the pictures… strange :joy: here they are

where you got them from? i remember was searching for them a while ago and never found where to buy…

Perhaps it would be best if you described the general care you have been providing for the Maple.
Watering routine, location, substrate. Have you been using fertilizer, foliage sprays, chemicals or treatments?
If you water is quite hard , it is likely more alkaline than acidic.
Maples moved into direct sun from shady locations will scorch.
Maples allowed to dry out too much will scorch, as will maples left in a very windy location.
I suspect the condition of your maple is a combination of the above factors!
When was the tree last repotted? Is the soil compacted or free draining?
If you can provide the background information it would be easier to provide more specific helpful advice.

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Thanks for you great reply frank. I keep it in shade normally however it’s get a bit more sun the other as I repositioned it ( it’s back in its shady spot now) I moved because the growth recently have been slow. I fertilize with a few pellets of biogold. My water is definitely alkaline, I can see the stains on some other plants and trees in my garden. I also made the mistake following a watering article by Jonas on pines and conifers. I haven’t reported it since I got it as only just got it this year. But I have a feeling the soil is too compact. I’ve been planning to repot it next year.

That is good information. I would poke holes down through the substrate to ensure adequate drainage throughout the root ball. And I would monitor the watering carefully while keeping it in the shade.
If you use some rainwater for watering that would also be helpful as you suggested. And it is a good idea to wait for spring to repot.
Some leaves do show signs of insect damage so I would also keep an wye out for pests.
Best of luck.

Thanks again for your reply frank. Would you just stick a chip through the soil a few places?

Regarding the insect bites I always assumed they were insect bites and because of Covid I’ve had the time to really be on the lookout. However even when checking on the trees multiple times a days I haven’t been able to catch an offender in action. I see bites on my crabapple aswell actually but again no culprit found :joy: Any tips or trick regarding this? :pray:

Have you tried a midnight plant inspection with a headlamp or flashlight?


Insects are very mobile and often have moved on before we notice them. If you have checked the plant carefully then I would just keep an eye on the plants when watering!
Do check the undersides of leaves for insect eggs, and the crevices, crotches of the branches and trunks as well!
Monitor the plant to see if the damage is continuing before thinking about any chemical treatments. they are often not needed and can further weaken the plant.

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One possibility is that something munched on the leaves when they were young, particularly on the crabapple. Aphids or caterpillars could be the culprits.

The maple foliage simply looks beat up, like it’s been windy or the trees suffered a bit when the leaves were tender. Poor water or watering could also contribute as there’s some browning along the leaf margins (particularly in photo 1).

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Thanks for your reply Jonas! I think so. In fact I had it sent with post when the pages were still soft and I think they took some damage. And then together with poor watering the when it’s was hot here last week. Luckily I’ve now got your post about maple watering. Super helpful :pray:

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I’m in SoCal (very dry and hot in the summer, and also hard and alkaline water), so my maples look a little worse than yours by midsummer, lol. (I keep all mine in shade too). Doesn’t help that rats are very attracted to them too.

Some cultivars are worse or better than others (in regards to leaf burn/crisp). I have red dragon, katsura, shishigashira, kiyohime… and added just this year is shindeshojo, akaji nishiki and shojo no mai. To my surprise, my new Shojo no Mai is showing no leaf crispiness/burn! Wow! I’m happy, as it’s become one of my faves.
Red Dragon is 2nd place (only slight crispness on edges). Katsura and Shindeshojo maybe tie for 3rd place (only slight crispness on edges sometimes). Everything else is pretty much a tie - a bit of crispness on the edges/tips by midsummer.


That’s super interesting Edgar thanks for replying! I wanna get some more maples! I’ll take this into consideration for my next one :joy:

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