I'd welcome any opinions or predictions about one of my maples which I've
worried about since late last autumn. I'd read about "sudden death
syndrome" in Japanese maples, & worried I was going to experience this
when the usual brilliantly red autumn colors were a grubby rusty brown,
then all the leaves dried out very suddenly on the limbs without falling
-- even right this minute in March, some of last year's dead leaves cling
to the branches. In four years this never happened before; it always had
leaves as red as a red crayon, then they fell off before they even lost
the bright color.
I watched the tree through the winter with a feeling of great sadness,
thinking it might be dead. But now it has new buds all over it, proving
that after all it's not dead.
Last year we had some very hot droughty weeks in summer, even a few
record-breaking days during a heatwave. The tree didn't seem to mind --
until it's poor autumn performance, when it was nice & rainy. I still
worry it may be a doomed tree, because I'd never before noticed any
Japanese maple with dried out leaves that never fell off.
Anyone experience anything similar? Does the behavior suggest a specific
problem I could do something about, or guard against in the future, or is
there nothing to be done, or am I over-worrying or what? I was frankly
preparing myself to admit it was dead, & now that its budding for re-leaf
I have my hopes up for it.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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