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Why is my Japanese maple turning green?

Posted by dredpir8 NC (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 29, 10 at 11:13

It was red last year... It was read in the early spring. Now it all green. Is that normal? Is there something I can do to encourage it to go back to being red?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Why is my Japanese maple turning green?

Completely normal! ;)
Most varieties have distinctly brighter, lighter, or more variegated new/Spring foliage.
There are maples that will stay red during the Summer. Now is a good time to go nursery
browsing for species that you like. I don't advise buying maples in Summer (unless you know
that they've been properly tended). Search now, and then pick up the proper variety in Spring.


RE: Why is my Japanese maple turning green?

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 29, 10 at 23:52

Another possibility is reversion (scion dead and rootstock sprouting). It's hard to know for sure without a picture or more info.

RE: Why is my Japanese maple turning green?

Has it been unusually hot? I have a Boskoop Glory jm that turns pretty green during very hot weather.

RE: Why is my Japanese maple turning green?

the simple answer.. in which i specialize.. lol .. is that green tissue is needed for photosynthesis .... and nearly all red trees ... turn green at some time during the year... as a way of producing the food that is needed to survive ... from that point.. it all becomes very complicated.. lol ...


RE: Why is my Japanese maple turning green?

It really depends on the cultivar as was mentioned seems that there are nearly a 1000 japanese red maple cultivars. Is there a database of all the japanese maple cultivars that would be interesting to see.

In the link below is the history of Japanese Red Maples which I think is interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Red Maple History

RE: Why is my Japanese maple turning green?

Here's some more info I dug up on the web:

Japanese red Maple leaves turn from red to green when the intensity of light is decreased.
Most if not all varieties of red leaf plants lose the red color if the leaves are in a shaded area. Our trees are grown close together to conserve water and help keep plants standing.This causes the new upper most leaves to become very red and the leaves that are shaded by other leaves to become green. Once these trees are given more space the red color comes back." (1)

RE: Why is my Japanese maple turning green?

Sorry Ken, but non-green foliage can photosynthesize as well as all-green foliage. The chloroplasts necessary for photosynthesis are still present - it is just that the chlorophyll of the green foliage is outweighed by the anthocyans that produce the red coloring. And there are many red leafed trees that never "green out" in summer. But as others have mentioned, it all depends on the specific cultivar of JM and how it is sited -- some will green up if in too much sun and others will green up if in not enough sun. In either case, it is not particularly unusual and does not indicate any ailment on the part of the tree nor necessarily a reversion in coloring. But as Brandon has pointed out, it also depends on where the foliage is emerging - above or below the graft union. Below the graft union, you may have issues.......

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