Japanese Maple

(Question)

I purchased a Japanese Maple (Acer palmatumvariete erable japonais) last summer, I did wrap it with burlap for the winter but it still seems the top was eaten by something. This summer it seems the leaves are all curled up but they are not dying, is this a fungus or the result of the ice storm? I live in Bolton On.

(Answer)

Your tree could be suffering from a fungus, the most serious of which is verticillium wilt. No definitive solutions are available at this time. It is important to sterilize all pruning equipment, keep the tree healthy, and remove infected parts which are then burned. This will limit further spread. Since you report that the leaves are not dying, however, your tree may be fine after this season and may indeed have been temporarily damaged by the ice storm.

For more information on growing Japanese maples, see the garden guide prepared by Toronto Master Gardeners at www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/factsheet/growing-japanese-maples-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/