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Skeletonized leaves on a Bloodgood japanese maple

Z - NYC / Zone 7b
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

Hi everybody - I recently received a low-branched bloodgood maple from a nursery (my first one). It arrived in a 7 gallon container with fairly moist soil, but nearly 50% of the leaves (nearly all are on the upper half of the plant) are partially skeletonized (see photo). After some research online I initially thought this was sun scorched, as many of the leaves appeared dry and brittle with curled edges, but the gaping holes in the center of the leaves made me think it could be damage from pests. Most images online of sun-scorched maples don't appear to show this kind of hole damage, especially radiating from the center.

I went over the plant for an hour this morning and could find no immediate signs of insects, but this is my first maple so I'm not entirely sure what signs to be looking for. I know many people recommend pruning sun-scorched leaves to generate fresh growth, but not sure how to proceed with this. The nursery is sending a replacement tree, but I'd like to get this one back to healthy if possible. I've held off watering it so far as the soil arrived pretty saturated already. I have also waited to repot it until I get more information, it's just been in the shade with maybe 2-3 hours of direct morning light each day since it arrived.

If anyone could share their opinion or experience with issues resembling this condition (and recommend how to address it) I would greatly appreciate it.

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