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Will my Japanese maple grow its leaves back in time?


By Dirk


Over a week ago, i bought a japanese maple from the nursery. A lot of the leaves had been chewed on by some small grasshoppers, but the owner assured me that the tree would produce new leaves very soon. She removed all the old leaves, while pointing out the numerous buds along the branches. Ive had the tree for over a week and have been watching the buds closely, they appear to be dormant to me. I live in Australia and it is now late summer/early autumn, and was wondering if the leaves would grow back before it gets too cold? The tree looks quite healthy, will it be ok without leaves for so long?

On plant Acer palmatum



Your Japanese Maple is a decidous tree that will lose it leaves during the Autumn and be bare all winter. We have several in the garden and they show no sign of new growh yet You will not see any new leaves appearing for several months yet.
As the tree has been infested by bugs (they maybe grasshoppers or not) I would be concerend that there might be grubs or eggs in the compost. I would wait until the begiining of winter then unpot the tree and remove all the old compost. You can then repot the tree in new compost or plant it in the garden.

6 Mar, 2009


If your tree doesnt survive I would go back and ask for a refund. It might be worth going back and getting her to write on your receipt that it was being fed on by 'grasshoppers'. The nursery should really offer an assurance. I'd be surprised if this will break leaf before your spring though as they drop leaves to prevent winter damage.

I'd also be cautious about 'overwintering' eggs and follow Bulbaholics advise.

Hope you have a lovely Acer come spring Dirk.

6 Mar, 2009


If your tree starts to grow again now, the new growth will not have time to ripen before winter, so don't do anything to encourage it to grow. So long as the tree is a reasonable size (i.e. over about 5 years say), it should survive well and regrow in your spring. If it starts to grow now, tho, the new growth will die back to the ripe wood in the winter. That will disfigure it a little in the shortterm, but you won't notice once it starts to grow again in the spring.

7 Mar, 2009

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