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Japanese Maples: My butterfly is so unhappy...

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Forum: Japanese MaplesReplies: 42, Views: 847
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mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 23, 2007
4:45 AM

Post #3767822

In the nursery they told me I have to plant the butterlfy in sun, 4 hours a day or more, if I want the variegation.
I followed their advice, and gave it a nice sunny spot, but no direct sun after 3 in the afternoon.
The leaves are all burnt to a crisp.
Can I put cloudcover on them, or what should I do?

Thank you
Christie

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mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 23, 2007
4:49 AM

Post #3767825

oops, wrong picture!
Here we go;

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Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 23, 2007
2:04 PM

Post #3768555

Likely due to transplant shock ...its happened to all of us .Especially if it was under shade cloth and potted and you put in the ground without acclimating it gradually . Also my brother lives in Marin Co. and if you planted during that hot spell that may also have contributed to it. After the leaves and their little stems totally are crisp and you can grab them individually and lightly bend down and they EASILY pop off do so with all of them and new ones will grow. they may also crisp though since afternoon sun is really not the best morning would have been better ... variegated JM's are a bit touchy for a beginner and even an experienced person can find them a bit touchy as far as sun in their first few years...older trees seem to acclimate eventually to all but the worst placements . And the answer is not moving (now) you may want to consider it to a more filtered sun spot after dormancy in fall ...remembering if it get too little sun you may not get the variegation ...thus the quandry and the touchyness of this type of JM ..David
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 23, 2007
2:11 PM

Post #3768587

Oh sorry the above post is based on the leaves being totaly currently crips not juet the tips or white areas if I am wrong let me know I can't tell by your jpeg and after reading your post it is unclear but seems to imply that...If they are as i assume totally criped any cover would be usless at this point . Al;so it is always possible it is disease ...in which case you will not get new growth using the "gentle pull method " and should then be returned to nursery for replacement ..David

mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 23, 2007
3:17 PM

Post #3768772

Thank you David; it's the edges of the fine leaves that are brown and crispy. The bottom part of the tree where there is less direct sunlight seems to be fine. That rules disease out, yes?
It was in a very shaded spot in the nursery. I'll get a closer picture of the whole tree by itself and a close up of the affected leaves today.
I appreciate your time and efford, JMs seem to be a lot different from any other tree I ever dealt with!
Photo's will follow!

Christie
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 23, 2007
4:06 PM

Post #3768978

Yes NOT likely disease... most likely sun shock ...if just edges are crisping leave them be... as they say wait til next year..you may want to leave it where it is through next year and see how it does ...this does not really mean anything since it is the result of shock and it may do fine next year.but if not you may be wise to move it the following fall or winter to a bit more filtered sun spot. We look foward to seeing more jpegs to be sure we are giving good advise. Oh make sure to mulch well not letting the mulch touch trunk ...DO NOT FERTILIZE this year only next early spring with low nitrogen fertilzer. Also water when needed don't over water only whern it dries out a bit... yes JM's are NOT an easy tree to grow especially specialized ones like you bought. David
gardenerme
Orange, CA

July 23, 2007
5:08 PM

Post #3769246

You could also minimize the transplant shock with SuperThrive. It really does work and is not a fertilizer but rather vitamins and hormones. Follow the directions carefully and use it every couple of weeks for six weeks and see how you do. It will not hurt it, as long as you realize SuperThrive is measured in drops, not in tablespoons.

mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
3:10 AM

Post #3771686

Here are some pictures. Thank you for taking your time to look at them.
Christie

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mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
3:11 AM

Post #3771694

another one

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mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
3:12 AM

Post #3771699

and last one

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Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 24, 2007
3:25 AM

Post #3771970

Minor sun damage nothing to worry about IMHO...I stay with the advise I gave in my last post... typical transplant sun damage wait til next year and see how it does in current location... actually your tree looks pretty good compared with some of mine that I have planted over the years in sun from shade cloth or shade conditions not knowing they were in shade before I got them ...the nusery though should have warned you but that is past history ...even "perfect" transplant can have that much damage with a variegated tree like yours...David
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
3:39 AM

Post #3772014

It makes me nuts that nurseries don't tell people to move the tree into the sun gradually...However, so far so good. I have had two trees that were pretty much totally exfoliated in the middle of July though (they were way on sale). I planted them and the next year there was no leaf burn BUT the weren't variegated. 3:00 where we live is pretty late. I'd want no sun after 11:00 in the morning but if you do move it do it in January. All it needs is early morning sun to keep it's variegation.

mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
4:16 AM

Post #3772089

Great!!! It's not that bad huh! I'm glad, I love that fragile baby, and I was afraid it was gone!
I shall relocate it next January. Should I maybe put some shade cloth on stakes around it now?

Christie
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
4:22 AM

Post #3772105

It definitely wouldn't hurt to put some shade cloth to shelter it a little more until you move it. Luckily it's small enough that it won't be too hard to do.

mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
4:31 AM

Post #3772133

Good Doss, that I will do!
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
4:53 AM

Post #3772184

Keep us updated about what happens. If you want a maple there we could always suggest something. Nothing we love more.

mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
4:59 AM

Post #3772198

I indeed would love a Maple there! Something in the 'small beauty department' if I may ask!
And something nobody in the neighbourhood has!!!! Weehah, this is FUN!! Thanks you experts!!
Christie
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

July 24, 2007
2:00 PM

Post #3772912

From your last post I get the feeling you won't be thanking us for long ;>) we are the drug dealers of of the acer variety ...we are here soley to addict you and promote our addictive trees.( helping you be successful in growing JM's promotes our evil adgenda ;>) ) David
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
4:49 PM

Post #3773677

How wide is that planting strip Christie? The smaller cultivars tend to be shrubby and not upright. Butterfly is a good choice for that area because of it's upright shape. Anybody else know of something that has the same shape as Butterfly but more sun resistant?

mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
4:57 PM

Post #3773707

hmm, about 3 feet I think. Yes, it may not flare outward too much, my neighbours are already ready to kill me, "We are not happy with your plantings, Christie"...
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 24, 2007
5:05 PM

Post #3773736

Unless you are willing to have a taller tree with a wide raised canopy then there isn't a tree i can think of that will go there. Perhaps someone else may have an idea. When you look at sizes in catalogs, remember that the trees will almost universally get much larger than it says as our climate is so mild.

Perhaps someone else knows of a smaller vase shaped tree that could go there?
largosmom
Newport News, VA
(Zone 7b)

July 25, 2007
12:04 PM

Post #3776930

How about shishigashira. But doesn't that get really big eventually? It is the only one I can think of other than butterfly which would also be my first choice in that narrow space, but that is realllly narrow. I would be worried about the root system in there not having space to spread out and get enough water.

I can't think of one that stays small that is also narrow like Butterfly.

Laura

mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 25, 2007
4:36 PM

Post #3777854

Waterwise I think it should be fine; I water there, and there already is a really big Maple of the UNKNOWN family.

Christie

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doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 25, 2007
9:35 PM

Post #3779045

Oh, Mrs_colla, I think that you don't have room even for butterfly there next to that other tree. If you want a very small tree you might try one of the weeping small crabapples there though. They can be very pretty in the spring. This one only gets about 4 feet high and no more than three feet wide. This photo was taken in 05 and it's covered with flowers in the spring now.

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mattlwfowler
Walhalla, SC

July 25, 2007
11:14 PM

Post #3779435

Goshiki kotohime should fit in that space, although it will be a small vase that will not get over head high (I say goshiki kotohime but I mean the form of kotohime that is grown in the US that is called goshiki kotohime).

Ojishi is similar and is considered a dwarf form of shishigashira.

Mikawa yatsubusa also falls into this category, as well as several other upright formed dwarfs.
mininissandog
Tallahassee, FL
(Zone 8b)

August 31, 2007
3:46 AM

Post #3920361

Ok, I'm having the same probmlem w/ my butterfly as Mrs. Colla, it looks exactly like that. I got it beginning of March and just stuck it in a bigger pot (tried not to disturb the roots at all) and after a month or two it still had almost no leaves on top, just little leaf buds that wouldn't open up (the part that was in the shade from the eave of the house all day. I thought that was my problem so I moved it to the other side of the door and they opened but still pretty sparse. Now (in N. FL) it's 100 everyday but it still only getts diffused but afternoon sun and the top leaves are crispy around edges and still sparse. What is a girl to do? Do I need to prune at any point? Does it just not like to be repotted, even nicely or do I need to find a new spot.

Second Q I have another weeping but unknow JM that i stupidly dug up several days ago. (Don't ask I kn;ow I got upset at the sorry excuse for soil in the planter where it was and so I took everything out and put in new soil.) I did disturb it's roots pretty bad, since some of the other plants were growing in and the concrete like soil just wouldn't let go. I did however immediately pot him up and left him in the same location right in front of the planter. He was already looking a little crispy around the edges (even though he isn't verigated) but now the leaves look really sad!! there were a few that weren't crispy and they are as wilty as leaves get.
Did I murder him with my anger and impatience!!! or will he come back next year?

Please help...I should be able to post some pics in a day or two (camera is in the shop)
Should I try that vitamin thing you guys mentioned to Mrs. Colla on either of these and where can I get it, I've never seen it?
john_hosie
Gaithersburg, MD
(Zone 6b)

May 19, 2008
10:38 PM

Post #4975370

I've had a butterfly for some 15-20 years. It has been in full sun most of the day most of that time. It stared out not much different from how yours looks. The leaves burned similarly to the way yours did. We moved it a year and a half ago to a place where it is sheltered partway by a silver maple and partway by the house. Poof...no more burn.

The tree has yet to hit 7 feet high. It grew VERY slowly. I would not expect yours to frow very quickly.

I don't believe the sun has anything at all to do with the leaves being variegated. Almost every single leave has always been variegated. Every couple of months - when I notice there are some unvariegated, I pluck them off - usually on a single branch. I think that the lack of variegation has little to do with the sunlight. It has a lot to do with genetics.

Check out the pic.

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doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 20, 2008
12:19 AM

Post #4975776

Lovely treeJohn and it looks very happy.

The sun does make some difference on the variegation. Mine is almost white because it doesn't get any sun at all. I get a very little pink in the early spring and that's it. Butterfly does tend to revert, you're right so it's important to keep after those plain green leaves. Being in the shade hasn't slowed it down any either.

mrs_colla

mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 20, 2008
12:46 AM

Post #4975902

Well then; that's it!
It will be moved as soon as I can get out of the coutch after throwing my back out in the garden once again!

Lovely tree, thanks for sharing!

CC
john_hosie
Gaithersburg, MD
(Zone 6b)

May 24, 2008
4:34 PM

Post #4997323

I have a few other pix here from different angles...just took them. I'm looking for advice on how to best prune it to get the best possible effect.

Any help? And is there any way to attach more than one image to a post? I will probably have to post a few to get them all in.

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john_hosie
Gaithersburg, MD
(Zone 6b)

May 24, 2008
4:36 PM

Post #4997326

Second of four pix. Looking for pruning advice.

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john_hosie
Gaithersburg, MD
(Zone 6b)

May 24, 2008
4:37 PM

Post #4997328

Third of four. Looking for pruning advice.

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john_hosie
Gaithersburg, MD
(Zone 6b)

May 24, 2008
4:48 PM

Post #4997383

Four of four. Looking for pruning advice.

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doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 24, 2008
11:06 PM

Post #4998516

John, if you don't get a reply you may have to start a new thread for your question. It's a tricky one and I'd be very interested in what people have to say about your problem. There is no way to post more than one photo at a time.

How firm is the taller part of the tree. Is there any way to stake it to make it straighter? It looks pretty woody but it would make a good solution for you.
john_hosie
Gaithersburg, MD
(Zone 6b)

May 25, 2008
3:18 PM

Post #5000780

doss,
Thanks for the note. I may take you up on the idea of a new thread...probably a general purpose "how to prune"..

Regarding staking, I've considered it for other parts of the tree - to move them out to the sides more. But I hadn't considered it for the tall part. You're right. It is the dominant part of the tree and should/could be redirected more vertically.

The problems this tree has in form step from my wife deciding to prune it on her own - without notice - about 5 years ago. She butchered it - took off at least 2 feet and wrecked the appearance. There was a second balancing major branch opposite to the tallest part that is left now. It died off from the shock.

She then had it transplanted a year and a half ago by a couple of amateurs posing as landscapers. They just plopped the tree in the ground in a hole too shallow and too narrow. They also killed a Coral Bark maple by putting half a cup of dry Miracle Grow in the bottom of the hole. (I found out in the post-mortem). It was so much Miracle Grow that when my wife decided to try to put another plant in the same place six months later (Bird's Nest Spruce) it died in about a week. Since then I've left that area of the garden bare. I'll probably try planting Thyme there some time to see how it does. But I won't risk a tree until I know it is safe.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 25, 2008
6:22 PM

Post #5001499

Wow John, I'm so sorry about your trees. It sounds as if it's a good thing you love your wife! :-) I love my Bird's Nest Spruce too. Is there anyway you could dig out the soil with the miracle grow in it? They put undiluted miracle grow into the hole??? How very odd.

I think that if you can straighten the main part of the tree then the one lower smaller branch could be removed and the tree would be a lovely vase shape but you'd have to see what others say. I almost lost a tree to a person who said that they could prune Japanese Maples but luckily I was out there watching and could stop them after they took the first small cut. Whew.
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

May 25, 2008
7:51 PM

Post #5001814

Your tree does have problems ...I as Doss am a big believer in staking /training ...I stake almost all my trees to train them...it works well with that plastic tree tape 1/2" wide and good bamboo poles...otherwise I am with Doss... who is a big tree trimmer and knowledgable about such trimming qwith JM's ..I like her wouldn't know where to start ...making your wife buy you a new one would be a good start ;>)... Mine knows to always ask and go over any trimming she wants to do first ...her problem is she is a compusive tag puller without noting what and where she pulls them from but knows to stay away from my sacred trees with that quirk ...we all have 'em mine JM addicttion drives her crazy .among many oother irritating traits some3 of you have experienced as well ;>)..live and let live is always best to keep peace but sometimes easier said than done...D
john_hosie
Gaithersburg, MD
(Zone 6b)

May 26, 2008
12:35 PM

Post #5004392

Doss,
Yes, they really did put straight Miracle Grow in the hole.

The same guys explained to my wife that the best way to plant a shrub was to just dig a little hole and mound up the soil. They then put in a "retaining wall" with a few 6x6 timbers without any support whatsoever. It took on rain storm for it to come down.

The wife thinks I procrastinate. Me? No. I just think a while before acting on things.

I will try some sort of staking. This tree is fairly old. The tall branch is old wood and fairly firm. I don't know how well it will respond to staking. But it can't hurt to try.

Dave, it sounds like our wives may have some of the same affliction. She is highly compulsive about things. I have all these little creeping thyme varieties I'm trying to keep track of in the garden, and she goes and pulls the tags I've intentionally left in the ground by them. OCD. That is the correct term.

But I don't need to bash her. Not a good thing to do. We don't need to go on down that track. Too easy to do and not at all productive.

Bamboo? They'd have to be pretty thick bamboo. The trunk of that branch is about an inch and a quartet thick. Half inch bamboo won't cut it. I'm thinking of sinking a couple of pressure treated 2x2 stakes in the ground on the side I want it to lean toward to strighten up and stretching a rope between them I can gradually tighten up on to make it submit to my will. I fear that virtually anything I do will leave me with an S shaped trunk.
doss
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 26, 2008
5:44 PM

Post #5005671

It may be too late to stake the tree. IN that case I would let it develop a little more and see if it puts out new growth in the right direction. I don't see a good way to prune it right now. You might look at it and see if you could slightly 'crotch' prune the longer parts of the tree. I sure wish that I could see it in person. It's tough. I usually start with a tree by just taking the part I want in my hand and see how the tree will look without it. You don't want to be taking small branchlets leaving the branch still looking as if it has an end if that makes any sense at all. PErhaps a good book on pruning Japanese Maples would be helpful.
So I go and look on Amazon and this is their first offering. Yikes! Ball trees.
http://www.amazon.com/Niwaki-Pruning-Training-Shaping-Japanese/dp/0881928356/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211823301&sr=1-1

I can't believe that there isn't a single book about pruning JM's naturally.
largosmom
Newport News, VA
(Zone 7b)

May 26, 2008
11:09 PM

Post #5007027

LOL, I bought that book, but for other reasons. :-)

Actually the book does have info in it about how to train large brances, but I'm not sure they would help in this case, and large bamboo poles are used to tie to the branches and they are pulled in the desired direction for several months.

For the gents with the OCD wives...I suggest getting some nice-looking markers and a label machine and let them make tags for your special items that way they are contributing to something which looks "nice". Their real objection may be to the type of marker being used.

Laura
Davidsan
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

May 27, 2008
12:48 AM

Post #5007493

Actually the best way is to map it out on papaer or with a landscape computer program if it is planted in ground... BUT you are suppose to do that BEFORE removeing the tags .;>).. Those that use markers even sharpies will find the info gone if in any sun w/in a year or so actually ball point pen oor pencil is better. I have a lazer printer and buy tags and print info on the tags are cheap the printer is cheap but the ink $$$$.and with heat the ink is pernanant in sun for years.again the NEW tags MUST be put on BEFORE the old ones are removed ... this is especially true with JM's which if untaged ...and you have a bad memory ...like I do ... you won't ever id it ... same goes with dwarf connifers which was my wifes big no no... there are literally thousands of them ... we do have a list of the ones we bought but finding photos to id and match up with list rare ones we have is impossible.

I have that book to it does have useful stuff in it... my wife has been studying it cause it will be needed shortly .

Oh I think I heard a japanese beetle fly by today ...gonna spray tomorrow ...its early but got to keep on top of thos evil critters So yiou guys better start checking for them daily..David
.David
myresortonahill
PICKETT, WI
(Zone 5a)

May 31, 2008
12:16 AM

Post #5028124

John:

I'm sick thinking about the loss of your japanese maple. Miracle Grow in the hole yet too! Yikes!
I read an article from Horticulture magazine in last month's issue about pruning japanese maples. There are several websites in addition to this article about pruning. Birds and Blooms Melinda Meyers, Backyard Gardening, are some sites for starters. Also, Morton's Arburateum near Chicago, Illinois has a great website, links, and the horticulturists are great references to contact. Morton collected many varieties of trees, and his grove is now a study center for budding arborists.


Mary
largosmom
Newport News, VA
(Zone 7b)

May 31, 2008
2:32 AM

Post #5028813

David, I use the Eon markers and label printer (brother p-touch) for my hostas and JMs. I'm just learning to tuck in a plastic marker UNDER the plant in case those get misplaced. Tougher to do with a tree, but maybe under a nearby rock? I agree that photos and photo or drawn maps are very helpful.

Laura

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