frost got emerging leaves on Japanese Maple
"We had a mild, early spring, everything coming up at least two weeks early. Then ""blackberry winter"" hit with a 5-day hard freeze. Our Japanese maple is the only tree not seeming to come back. It has no new leaves coming out, only suckers at the base with leaves. What can we do? Would pruning be an option, or has it had enough shock. We live in zone 7, south of Knoxville, Tn."
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Using your thumbnail, scratch at the bark near the top of your Japanese maple to see whether the tissue underneath is green (living) or brown (dead). If it is green, there’s still hope that your tree will recover and releaf. If it’s brown, you can safely prune off the dead parts. Even if the whole top is dead, the plant can start over from suckers. The root system that once supported the whole tree can now direct all of its energy into the suckers, so regrowth will be rapid. An application of a granular slow-release balanced fertilizer (10-10-10 or 12-12-12, for example) will assure that nutrients will be readily available when your maple needs them.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors