Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 03, 2010

From: Glastonbury, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Failure to thrive of non-native Japanese maple
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My 10 year old Japanese red maple leaves suddenly started to curl up and die at the end of summer last year. Only about a quarter of the tree leaved out this spring, branches are dead. Can I plant another in its spot? What could have happened?

ANSWER:

Acer palmatum, Japanese Maple, is native to China and (of course) Japan. Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they are being grown, we have no information on this plant in our Native Plant Database. Here is an About.com: Forestry article How to Manage and ID Japanese Maple, which can give you a lot of information to help you discover the problems. The fact that you kept it alive for 10 years indicates you were doing a good job, as it is not ordinarily a long-lived plant, and this USDA Plant Profile does not even show it as growing in Connecticut. Hartford County, in central Connecticut, is in USDA Hardiness Zone 6, and the Japanese maple is hardy from Zones 5b to 8, so your temperatures should not have been the problem. If you know others are growing this tree in your area, you might contact the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Office for Hartford County. If this is something that has been happening in your area, they are closer to home and can give you more help than we can.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Infestation of flies around euonymus in summer
March 02, 2008 - I have 3 shrubs planted in my backyard. I think they are a type of euonymus (but I'm not sure). My question is why do they attract huge nasty flies. The first year we had them they didn't. But the l...
view the full question and answer

Caring for non-native African violet
September 05, 2006 - How do you care for the African violet?
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive peanut butter tree from Canby, OR
July 17, 2012 - I too have a peanut butter tree with the pink and white blooms, its about 5 years old and is beautiful, but 2 weeks ago it started wilting and losing all its leaves, I am afraid it is dying. Can I sav...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, care for Jade plant.
June 22, 2009 - I've had a jade plant for 5 years and it has done well, even though it was in a plastic pot with regular soil. I need to repot it and it was recommended I use a clay pot and a soil made for succulen...
view the full question and answer

Advocacy of non-native plants.
December 10, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Instead of asking a question, I would like to comment on the seemingly discouraging tone on growing plants or trees out of their native habitat that I have observed from rea...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.