Ask John

Q: Hi John,

I purchased a coral bark Japanese maple from you about 6 weeks ago. I planted it as recommended. The leaves are turning brown which started about 2-3 weeks ago. What do you think is causing this? 

– Deb, Facebook Fan  



A: Hi Deb,

Great question and an easy solution. This process that you are experiencing is a botanical term called transpiration: Transpiration is essentially evaporation of water from plant leaves. That means there is not enough water in the soil or root system to sustain the leaves. We recommend buying a soaker hose to lay around the base or a tree watering bag. It needs a deep watering twice a week. Don’t stand over the tree and water it since it mostly stays on the surface. Prune back any dead tips.

You should see a happier tree over the next few weeks by following these tips.

– John Christianson  

Comments (2)

Beth Jaques | October 23, 2018

We have a very tall narrow Christmas tree near our front door. I believe it is a variety of pine. It has outgrown the space and my husband wants to have it removed. I’m not ready to give up my Christmas Tree and so I’m looking for another that will grow narrow but have a maximum height of 8 to 10 feet. Is there such a tree?

Stephanie Banaszak | January 3, 2019

Thank you for the inquiry, Beth. Our apologies for the late reply. If you haven’t solved your situation yet, we suggest replacing your fir tree with a broadleaf evergreen such as an English Yew, taxus bacatta or a Japanese Holly, ilex crenata, ‘Sky Pencil’.

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