Japanese Maple branches dry

Hi,
I seem to have problems with a Japanese maple on the partly shady southern side of my house. I live in Michigan. It seems to have very few leaves and the branches that look very dry. Can I use an acid fertilizer for Japanese maple though it is not listed on the bag?
TIA for any advice.
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Can you bend the branches? If yes give it time. If no I'd start low and remove on your way up. They can come back. I've cut off whole tree tops and encouraged suckers sort of like coppice instead not for wood btu's but beauty. How old is you tree +-5 years ? Flexibility is a good indication of vitality even in people ;)).
Bill
--
S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
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When did you first notice the sparse leaf pattern & dry branches? If it was early in spring -- depending on your zone -- you may have lost some growth due to cold temps. Here in zone 5 Wisconsin, Japanese maple aren't reliably hardy.
Am not sure why you would want to use an acid fertilizer, except that maples prefer acid soils. Again, in this part of Wisconsin, where our soil tends to be quite alkaline, many maples struggle along. It's not for lack of acidity, however, but that the lack of maganese that is unavailable (tied up in the soil) because of the alkalinity. The usual recommendation here is to acidify the soil to make the maganese available. And no, adding maganese to the soil doesn't work -- it's already there, just not available.
Hope this helps.
Suzy O, zone 5, Wisconsin

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Japanese maples dont seem to do well in southern exposure. Mine is thriving are on the north side of a shed. they want moist but not wet conditions. sounds like the leaves and twigs are desiccating. you might try "cloud cover" or other antidessicant to prevent so much water loss. Ingrid

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Some more info is needed to give a us a better idea. Was the tree recently planted? How is the weather? How often are you watering it and for how long? Did the drying up of the leaves happen quickly, like almost overnight, or slowly over a period of days?
Japanese maples need a bit of shade in the southern climates but I'm quite sure in Michigan they'd be okay in full sun or southern/western exposure depending on the cultivar. I've seen many maples in full sun on a recent trip to Long Island, NY.
The main causes of maple leaves/branches dying on us are under or over watering, or a period of really hot dry winds. Here in So. Cal. we can get hot, dry desert winds called Santa Ana winds. Our maples can look just fine one day and the next day the winds can dessicate the leaves a little or a lot.
Layne
On Sun, 11 Jun 2006 13:15:04 GMT, "R. Kannan"

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Layne wrote:

2 It has not been very hot here this year so far. It reached 90 on 2-3 days. Otherwise it has been mid70s-low 80s.
3. Leaves look OK and I can see some new leaves (light pink/red). But some branches are devoid of leaves and look very dry. This did not happen over night. I noticed it only this spring.
4. The tree is on the southeastern and gets moning sunshine but afternoon shade.
5. It is in a flower bed and gets watered 4 times a week for about 10 mins.
TIA for any help.
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