we had this Japanese maple placed last year by our landscaper, and it did well. this year it seemed to be doing well, but we just noticed these scattered branches with a bunch of curled leaves, and what looks to be dead branches. the branches affected may be the new growth, but i'm not positive.
we live in Chicago. tree faces south with partial shade. we've been using drip irrigation set to a timer. we turned the water off during our wet and cool june, but restarted it every 3 days for 90min in july, and then bumped it to every 2 days right before we left for vacation after forecast of a dry warm week. truthfully, we didn't notice the problem until we got back.
we sent this pic to our landscaper, who later looked at it through the gate and thought it looked like "drought damage". recommended to just keep watering it.
i'm not much of a gardener, but it didn't make much sense to me. we have a silhouette sweetgum tree a few yards away that's doing well, and none of the surrounding plants look like they're wilting or damaged.
i was originally worried that maybe we were overwatering, but i now understand 90min of drip irrigation should be okay (true?).
so, i guess i'm looking for a diagnosis and advice.
- could it be drought damaged? should we worry about irrigation problem?
- could it be sun damage?
- could we be overwatering it?
- is it diseased? if so, should we prune these branches before is spreads?
i'm hoping someone might be able to figure this out on sight. and since a picture is worth a thousand words...
(note the faded dry leaves and branches at the top of the tree, as well as the branch with red curled leaves to the left.)
thanks in advance, everyone!