The biggest killers of Japanese Maples

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

I am starting this thread since we are again off track in another web and newbees to this site will never find this .. Again if you have a different subject don't paste onto someone else's that is totally irreverent to your subject PLEASE !! I take some blame on this since I should have started this along time ago!!

There are never any total absolutes but moist areas will either kill trees otr keep them as dwarfs the ones that survive in my wet areas that are not berm-ed up grow slowly and stay small and puny... some trees do ok in moist areas ( but will usually syay smaller and less vigorous especially in shadier area. And all such areas vary in moistness each year. So there is no standard for wetness but all of you should know at lest those that go under water in spring;>).. often the ground settles and a not so moist areas can becomes wet so keep an eye out for that.. Many established trees as i said can take it ..letr say you get three dryer years in a wet area this tree planted during that time will likely have the root system not to drown.and may do fine. those freshly planted in an area that has a wet period during the fall winnter and spring asfter palnting ..well my experience has beeen they will be toast . In pots it is best to let them dry out totally before watering ... All JMs do not only hate wet feet but don't like being contantly wet or moist either .. but more established trees can take the latter ... Planting trees in wet areas to keep from having to water is not a very smart idea .

If you talk to 100 professional growers who deal with this on a daily basis ALL will tell you water is the the single biggest killer of Jms in non extreeme areas..

One example I planteed two large trees in a not so wet area where a Masu ( Musa) murasaki had been growing for three years planted same size .. we had not had allot of wetness in that are for several year ..,. both trees were planted in the highest part of this area and and planted high... all were in full sun and looked great the first year. year two was VERY VERY wet and a few days they were under water, all three including the Musa especially during the very wet spring and fall were very wet .. By the end of summer one sun loving upright was partially dead or damaged made worse by a very hot summer which kept them from any possible rejuvenation .. one sun loving dissectum was doa in late june tried to flush out some leaves but died ... the Musa was untouched .. all were within 8 ft from each other. And all other trees ( 15 or so) that were established in the same area looked fine although under water too but had been planted 4+ years like the Musa... they were and are a mixture of upprights and dissectrums..

This is about as scientific of an experiment as you can get on line ... it was not a planned experiment but turned out that way .. Plant in wet area and some Jms will do ok but the majority you will be taking big chances I went to hiring an excavating crew to burm all my botanical gardens and wet areas in my yard and still have occasional problems since those areas are landscape fabricated and mulched and the trees still stay wet allot ..but it is much better. 99% of even newly planted smaller trees live.

Another killer of newly planted trees in north is bark split in winter from a combo of we=wetness shade grown potted trees and winter sun hitting the trunk and starting sap to run thenm at nigh it just freezes and pops. wrapping new trees in winter is probably a good idea if it gets allot of winter sun ( use plastic tree guards take off in later spring do not wrap in burlap unless you want rot from moisture). I do not have time to do this and as a result have lost some this way ... it is much less common than water death and if the bark split doesnt garret the tree completely your tree will survive and eventually the good bark will go arounfd to fix the bad bark..If completely burnt it will come out and look great and die within two months ..

Remember always what you read on the jm blogs even on those with alleged scientists and blow hard academics involved are pure crapola even Vertrees who is the father of Jms was a colollector not an expert who did scientific studies nuch of what he wrote is helpful but not necessarily factual.. There are just nono scientific studies being done on jms or very few ever done that I know I know of . So what you are reading is homeopathic personal experiences and i make no claim nine are any better just maybe a bit more well rounded and honest... but I admit that and don't robin chest my breast feeding you a bunch of garbage. I give out the best info i can from what I have learned from experience and reading and have a pretty good fell about what is crappola and what just might be true. And having a relationship with dozens of both small and large wholesale growers is a big help since they deal with this daily with hundreds of Jms and see the problems on a daily basis and know the solution's. Not like those growing a JM here or there or even those that have 25 tree collection in a perfect growing area ..or a larger collection they love to brag about the size of their ...well collections :>) .. ( anyone who brags about their collection just turn the page.)


FU, United States(Zone 9b)

This message was edited Jun 21, 2011 12:51 AM

New York, NY(Zone 7a)

What kills a JM that had been in the same location for 40-odd years? This was a tall, broad, open tree with a red single palmate leaf resembling Bloodgood.

Russell, KY(Zone 6b)

dawnsharon2001- start your own thread with a descriptive title and you will get better response.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I live in the Pacific NW, zone 5, and I just bought a palmatum Viridis. Beautiful green. It is in a pot I would say is probably 2 gallons. It must be protected in the winter until it gets established in a larger pot. And then probably the trunk will also need protecting. It is about 4 to 4 1/2 feet tall. How do I take care of this tree without putting it in the ground?

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

viridis is a hardy jm - bring it is a un-heated garage for the winter. sounds like it is bigger than 2 gallons if 4' tall unless it is super skinny.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

That seems to be a stock answer for everything. I don't have an unheated anything. Not garage, basement, or??? Would it work to plant it in a 3 gallon bucket and plant that in the whiskey barrel and leave it out if I protect the trunk and top some way? Or would I have to protect them (the trunk and top) if I kept the water (the dreaded moisture) out of the whiskey barrel planter? I believe it is the freezing of the roots that is bad. Or, the freezing of the contents of the large planter and then the moisture sitting on top of that frozen block and can't get out so the roots rot at that point??

I think that is the answer. To keep the water from getting in after the planter has frozen. If I put visquine on top of the planter and fasten it tightly to the trunk of the tree so water can't get in.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

it is the stock answer because it is true.............if you knew this you might have mentioned up front that you do not have an unheated place to over winter the tree.

plant it in an oversized container in a protected place.

This message was edited Jun 1, 2012 7:55 AM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Sorry I wasted your breath.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

i did answer your question - only wished you had provided more info of what your options where when you originally posted

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