My tree did not come back well this spring. I only have a few tufts of red leaves as shown in the photo, compared to a full size tree last year. Upon the advice of a gardener I trimmed the dead sections of the tree and fertilized, but now I notice the bark is peeling. What else can I do? Thank you for your help.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto master gardeners with your inquiry concerning your ailing Japanese maple tree.
The bark of a tree is the external vascular system that carries water and nutrients vital to a tree’s survival. Therefore any damage to a tree’s bark can have potentially fatal consequences. When a tree receives a trunk wound that penetrates the cambium layer it can interfere with the movement of water and nutrients. A wound can become a pathway for diseases, insects or decay. Since there was no leaf growth on a number of your branches and you have been losing leaves and branches every year it is possible that the tree is dying, but you may want to consult an arborist before removing the tree. Here is a link to a certified arborist in your area: www.isaontario.com/content/public