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Maple tree--shock? too much water? not enough?

14 years ago

Hello and thanks, in advance, for any help!

My husband and I planted two small red maples last fall, one on the east side of the house and the other on the west. They budded and leafed up nicely this spring--other than the slight lean on both of them (which we will attend to shortly with staking), they seemed to be doing well.

Some more background: the west face tree is in our 'back yard' and there is virtually NOTHING around to provide any shade. The soil is, according to my husband, predominantly 'clay'. We weren't watering either tree for some time, because there had been some rain every week here in IN for the last few months.

In the last week, the west tree's leaves have turned yellow, with browning on the edges, crispy and the grass surrounding the base of the tree (in a perfect circle around the tree) was also yellow/tan. The east's leaves turned a darker green, were wilty and dry, and again, the grass at the base of the tree appeared dry and dying.

I assumed that the trees were both in dehydration shock and have begun watering twice daily with soaker hoses around the base.

My questions are these: 1) does this seem like over or underwatering shock? something else all together? 2) if watering is the treatment, how much? how long until we can see signs of recovery (to know we are doing the right thing and not making it worse).

Again, thanks!

Courtney and Jim

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