Sick Acer Palmatum

I purchased a Acer Palmatum about a month ago.
Stupid purchase really as the tree didn’t looks as healthy as it should this time of year.
Within a week some leaves are browning as per photo.

I’m currently keeping the tree in semi shade , trying to only water when needed.
I suspect the tree came to me sick , possible heat damage and the seller removed a few of the damaged branches.

Anyone ID what could be wrong and help with any care tips ?

Where are you located and did you purchase the tree locally or was it shipped?

Hey, Purchased locally at a local bonsai show. Located in the UK

The browning on the leaves look similar to some of my propagated maples earlier this summer. The browning stopped after roots formed and they seem to be stable now. I don’t have a ton of experience with Japanese Maples but it sounds like you are doing everything right. I’d just keep an eye on it and hope for the best. Best of luck!


Have you been given much info ab the tree’s past two years of life by the previous owner?
What’s the soil like, when was it last repoted…
Also the weather in UK this year doesn’t favor trees much and maples gives these signs if roots are not 100% happy so would think of that. Seeing leaves being otherwise nicely green you don’t have to shade it imo completely and let it photosynthesize to gain strength for potential repot next spring.
Post some pics of pot, soil even the whole tree.

Hey, thanks for the reply. I believe the tree suffered from some heat damage last year or this year. I suspect last year. It was a bit of a rush purchase and I semi regret it.
You can see from the photos its lost a couple branches in the last year.

Some more photos.

Not sure what else I can do for the tree at the min. Trying not to over water.
soil looks ok, but could be better. I added some sphagnum moss to the top to hopefully stop it drying out too much. ( moved for photos )

Hopefully it hold out till next year when I can repot and take a little look at the roots.

Hold off any fertilizer, balance water and oxygen and keep doing what your doing with protection and it will bounce back quickly (on trees timeline that is)


Agree with @NEBeech keep it simple and let it do its thing. It definitely needs to grow some leaves so don’t touch it.
Keep it protected from wind, partly shaded (morning sun is the best). If you see good level of bud formation in fall that would be a good sign.
It has a potential, no regrets - think ab it as a learning curve - how to make a tree healthy and build a bonsai out of it :slight_smile:

Not sure if you have it up on a bench but if you do and you can find a morning sun, after noon shade and wind protected spot on the ground it might be worth keeping it on the ground.

I would agree that I would expect much more foliage on a maple this time of year! I’ve seen this brown leaf tip burn on some of my maples this season. My understanding is that it is a result of too much water and heat causing cells at the tips of the leaves to burst as the tree attempts to move larger amounts of moisture to cool itself in heat! Not sure how much weight I put in that reasoning? But it seems to happen after a bought of heavy rain then really hot days!
I’ve triaged some of my more valued stock by slip potting them into a large colander/pond basket and back filling with pumice. Then setting them in the ground in semi shade to recover. Have not lost any of these trees once making the change. Good luck with your tree.