As core counts increase in the world's most powerful supercomputers, applications are becoming limited not only by computational power, but also by data availability. In the race to exascale, efficient and effective communication policies are key to achieving optimal application performance. Applications using adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) trade off communication for computational load balancing, to enable the focused computation of specific areas of interest. This class of application is particularly susceptible to the communication performance of the underlying architectures, and are inherently difficult to scale efficiently. In this paper we present a study of the effect of patch distribution strategies on the scalability of an AMR code. We demonstrate the significance of patch placement on communication overheads, and by balancing the computation and communication costs of patches, we develop a scheme to optimise performance of a specific, industry-strength, benchmark application.