Japanese Maple - New growth always discolored/shriveled

JakeDiamante(9)April 10, 2014

I have had a japanese maple bonsai for about 5 years and it seems like every year, after the initial flush of new, healthy leaves, the rest of the summer all I get is discolored, goofy-looking leaves growing...

Ok, so whatever, overall it still looks good, BUT-

This spring I repotted in some straight pine fines, unscreened with a lot of smaller particles, because I live in the high desert, and water retention is a big deal, and I decided to omit the perlite I usually use. The bark is not very composted, so I just thought I'd have to add more nitrogen, etc... So I've been fertilizing with some diluted acid-loving fertlizer mixture since repotting.

So this year the discolored goofy leaves are worse. Any ideas why? They are not browning at the tips or getting sunburned, etc... Anyway you can see the pics. Nitrogen leaching from the new bark? Too much fertilizer? Not enough air circulation? Anyone ever have a similar problem with japanese maple new growth? It doesn't seem to hurt the tree overall, but I just cant figure out how to keep all the leaves looking healthy, not just the initial flush. THANKS!

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JimK1940(Zone 8a north of Seattle)

At present I do not own one of these beautiful trees, but soon I hope.

Most of my Bonsai plants are Conifers and Elms. When I have a problem with one of my plants, I will plant it back into a large training pot and nurse it back to health.
Have you taken it to your local nursery to see if they can advise you? I am sure you have tried a lot of things to solve the problem but just have not found the right solution.
I am not sure that I can help but maybe I can give some suggestions that might help.

There is an old saying, "If a little is good, then more is better." I don't think that applies to Bonsai plants. I am referring to your use of Acidic soil, do Maples require acid soil to maintain their health?

Could you show a better picture of the whole plant?

When you repotted the Maple, did your remove any roots and when was it done?

One last thing, is it possible that this problem is caused by disease? That was my first impression.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 7:54AM
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