Laceleaf Japanese Maple Tree Pruning

Caring For Your
Laceleaf Japanese Maple Trees


Verticillium Wilt is the most common disease that arises in the Laceleaf Japanese Maples. It is a soil based fungal disease that infects the tree through the root system. While there is no cure for this disease, heavy watering and fertilization may prolong the life of the tree. Symptoms include wilting, drying, and curling of the leaves which eventually turn yellow or brown in color. There is really nothing that can prevent the tree from eventually dying once this has taken hold. Never replant another tree in the same area of a tree that has died of Verticillium Wiltcare for laceleaf japanese maple trees
Make sure to destroy all diseased material, and do not add to compost. Keep in mind that branch die back is very normal in Laceleaf Japanese Maples. Verticillium Wilt is actually not that common, so do not confuse normal branch die back with this disease. Normal branch die back should be pruned away after the trees have regained their leaves in the spring.

Fungal Canker, and bacterial disease may also be caused by excessive pruning, leaving stubs, and or flush cuts. Pruning in wet weather, frost cracks, and or sun scalding may also be the cause of these two diseases.

While there are many websites that reference disease in these trees, here are a few that might be he helpful to improve your care for Laceleaf Japanese Maple trees .


Laceleaf Japanese Maples normally do not require a lot of fertilization. If done however, it should be done in the early spring prior to the sap rising and the leaves returning.
(Tsugawa Nursery recommends Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost or Peace of Mind Japanese Maple Fertilizer)

Soil Specification

Laceleaf Japanese Maples require well drained soil. They do not do well in soil with excessive alkaline content. Producing a  mounded area around the tree will help with conditions where there is substantial clay content in the soil and limited drainage. Mulching
 around the base of the tree will often protect the tree from excessive cold during winter months. It also helps with water retention in the summer months, and areas where the soil may not have adequate drainage. Mulch should be approximately 2-4" in height and 3" in diameter around the base of the tree. Leave a basal area around the base of the tree so as not to smother the trunk.

Tsugawa Nursery recommends Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost or Acid Planting Mix, Peace of Mind Japanese Maple Fertilizer, and Bonide Root N Grow)

Spraying is to be done either in the late fall after all leaves are off of the tree, or early spring before the sap rises and the leaves reappear.

(Tsugawa Nursery recommends Bonide Copper Spray)

Sun Exposure
Green Variety- Full sun for most of the day, with afternoon shade.

Red Variety- Mostly shade, with partial hot sun during the day which helps retain color.

Golden Variety- Protect this variety from afternoon sun.

Variegated Variety-Semi shade with protection from intense afternoon summer sun.

Do not water in full sun, as this may damage foliage. It is best to water in the morning or early evening.

Watering once or twice a week, deeply and evenly around the root system is best, especially in the summer months.

A Laceleaf Japanese Maple that is planted along with other landscaped plants, shrubs and companion perennials should do nicely without any special attention. Normal irrigation supplied to all plants in an area should be sufficient.

Laceleaf Japanese Maples planted in containers may need more water during the hotter summer months. Often times, daily watering may be required. Do not discontinue watering in the winter months, as the water acts as insulation to the roots. Keep close watch in extreme cold.


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