My upright acer palmatum was planted Fall 2011. Our weather has been dry to the point of drought all summer. While I was away three weeks ago I believe my stand-in gardener watered it too frequently; I had been watering it1-2 times a week. When I returned, numerous dried, curly leaves littered the ground under the tree. During the past 2 weeks we have had a radical weather change with rain overnight almost every night. My understanding is that the amount of water the tree receives is not as important as the consistency of watering.
Consistency is the key so I read. However I cannot control the change in the weather. There are still lots of leaves on the tree but for how long? Leaves are dropping everyday. Do I just watch leaves dry, curl and drop to the ground? How do I handle this situation? I do not want the health of my new Japanese maple to deteriorate. It is about 9 feet tall and has been very healthy.
a picture might help - i have several trees that have lost some leaves which is typical of dry weather - even if you have been watering it may not have been enough to keep up with the drought conditions. have any branches died?
Here we've had such high temps over one hundred degrees this summer, along with the drought, that no amount of watering prevented many JM leaves from curling and dropping. All of my red-leafed cultivars have turned green from the heat, many for the first time in all the years I've grown them. It sounds more like your stand-in waterer didn't water enough rather than too much, unless you're had hight temps.
Thank you wha and HoosierGreen for your comments. Having read the authoritative book by J.D.Vertrees, where the emphasis is on consistant amounts of water and consistant frequency of watering, I carried that emphasis even through the drought and high temps of this summer. I guess common sense should have told me these summer conditions required more watering. Instead I attributed the leaf drop to the recent wetter weather.
I suppose maybe 25 percent of leaves have fallen. This is a bushy (won't be pruned for 2 years or more) upright JM currently about 9 feet tall with total height expected to be 12-15 feet. Do you think it is in danger of not surviving based on what I have told you?
I love the Vertrees book, but if I remember that portion of the book correctly he was writing mostly from his experience and growing conditions in the Pacific Northwest, wasn't he? I can't remember that exactly but I do remember thinking to myself that my JMs wouldn't do well at all if I followed his advice to the letter because my climate is so different from his.
i have a few trees that have shown a little wear from this summers heat. peaches and cream is one.
although, if i would have guessed the 'first ghost' would have been the most delicate but its thrived all summer long as did my autumn moon.
Regular watering. down here in bama i had to water every day almost. I was very consistent.