Too Hot for Japanese Maples?

How to manage extreme heat and protect your Acer palmatum

The weather in some parts of the country (especially here in SC – 100 degrees F today) is just about as hot and dry as it has ever been. Many of your garden plants may be suffering. To struggle so hard to achieve a perfect garden and then to lose some of your most beautiful plants is very difficult. I’ve noticed that many of the Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum) around town are drying up and. A lot of our plants were hit by a late frost and then beaten by this super-hot summer. Extreme heat affects leaf color of Japanese Maples.


Acer palmatum, commonly known as Japanese Maples, are valuable and they are usually the stars of any garden. So, if you are going to attempt to keep yours healthy this summer the most important thing to remember is that maples are very thirsty trees with shallow roots, and they will dry out quickly if not watered frequently. Make sure you have well-drained soil – amend with sand or bark if your yard is mostly hard clay. Mound up with good topsoil to ensure good drainage. Water well at least three times a week, and make sure not plant your tree in direct sunlight or wind that may cause it to dry more quickly. Fertilize once at the beginning of each season with a good all-purpose slow-release fertilizer.