My 2 year old tree is not showing and leaf. The stalks are red but bare. Is it dead?
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Japanese maples are quite vulnerable to cold temperatures and this spring has been exceptionally cold with record breaking cold temperatures. Damage from freezing appears as shrivelling or browning of foliage, and can also include branch die back. To find out whether your bare branches are viable, gently scrape the bark of these bare branches with your fingernail, starting at the tip and working back towards the base of the tree: you are hoping to find green, healthy wood below the bark. If there is green bark below the wood, the tree is still viable and will push out new leaves once the temperature warm up.
We receive numerous questions concerning Japanese maples. For more information on their care simple enter Japanese Maples into the search box located to the right of the screen. A number of our archived posts will appear. The Toronto Master Gardeners also have a Garden Guide on the proper care of Japanese Maples