Bloodgood Japanese Maple Issues


Hi I planted a healthy Bloodgood Japanese maple 2 years back and noticed the following issues this year – the top part of the plant has no leaves (see picture attached); leaves are a faded brown rather than the bright red colour; leaves are attached by Japanese beetle. is this tree dead? If not how can i restore this tree to good health? will it ever have bright red leaves? will leaves come back on the top. Thanks


Hello – Unfortunately your photo has not come through so I’m unable to see the extent of the damage to your Bloodgood Japanese maple.   I’ll point you to some of our earlier responses to questions on the issues you mention.

First of all, as Bloodgood Japanese maple does leaf out earlier than some other Japanese maples they are susceptible to crown dieback as a result of late spring frosts. Younger trees such as yours are more susceptible to this issue. Click on the following link to reference our response to an earlier question on recovering from frost damage on a Bloodgood Japanese maple.

My Japanese Maple tree

If the japanese beetles are a significant problem for your tree, the article at the following link provides information on dealing with this pest.

Japanese Beetles

For some general advice on the care of Bloodgood Japanese maple, the link below has some good information from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Acer Palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ – Missouri Botanical Garden

Bloodgood Japanese maples are known for holding their colour well throughout the season but you will see colour variation as the season progresses.  The leaves typically start out a red-purple colour in the spring, becoming more deep burgundy in the summer and finally crimson red in the fall.  While Japanese maples do best in a full sun location to part-shade location, some shade does lead to more vivid foliage colours.  My own Bloodgood Japanese maple is in a south facing, full sun location and during the summer I see a lot of brown-green appearing in their leaves but the fall brings on the beautiful crimson colour.  If the brown you are seeing is more recent, this may be a result of the seasonal colour variation and you will see more red as the fall weather arrives.

I hope this information helps you to restore your Japanese maple to good health.