Digging up Japanese maple?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Dsm1gb, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Dsm1gb

    Dsm1gb New Member

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    Hi everyone. I don’t post much just lurk, but

    I now have a collection of about 20 Japanese maples, with 7 of them planted in the ground, and the rest in pots.

    I however don’t own the land, just the mobile it sits on and was thinking about taking the plunge and buying a house.

    Is it possible to dig my Japanese maples up and take them with me? Is there a specific time of year (like winter) or way to do this without harm or is there always a risk?

    If it’s going to harm them I’m just going to leave them and let them be for the next person, although I seriously don’t want to do that.

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. Geezer840

    Geezer840 Active Member

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    Japanese maples of any size can be moved safely but the work involved for large trees may be significant and the risk increases with the size. Maples typically do not have deep tap roots and depend mainly on fine surface roots and a moderate amount of medium roots below the trunk of the tree. If you can mange to dig around the drip line of the tree and gather the root ball in cloth or burlap and move it mostly intact you should be able to safely relocate it. Be careful to minimize drying the roots before replanting. I recommend transplanting in fall or in early spring. I have moved small trees in summer or winter but suggest avoiding this if possible. If you will not be able to dig out the trees and plant immediately I suggest digging out in the fall and using sawdust to protect the root ball until you can plant.
    I hope this helps. Good luck.
     
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  3. Dsm1gb

    Dsm1gb New Member

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    Thank you for your response. These are pretty small trees the biggest is about 8 feet tall.

    As for the saw dust part, just to clarify do you mean I put it in a container with sawdust?
     
  4. Geezer840

    Geezer840 Active Member

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    If balled trees are left without water for an extended period of time they can die. If they are not put into pots or the ground there is a need to keep them from drying out. One method is to take the balled trees and dump sawdust on top of the balls, deep enough to come to the top of the ball, and keep the sawdust wet. This is used frequently in nurseries when balled trees are staged in lots for sale for unknown periods of time. Sawdust can usually be obtained from tree trimming companies, often for no charge. I'm sure there are other means of achieving the same end.
     
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  5. Dsm1gb

    Dsm1gb New Member

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    Thank you for the information!
     
  6. AlainK

    AlainK Active Member Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Here, I repot or dig out trees in late winter most of the time, just before budbreak.

    But I think your climate is milder (? : people here imagine California as if it was like sunset boulevard everywhere!)

    Here, it was a mild winter overall, but we had a cold period just as buds were swelling on lots of trees, with temps around -10° C for several days, so I was fortunate not to have time do do that this year...

    If you have a rather mild autumn, maybe it's better to transplant after leaf fall. the roots are still active until it freezes, and they will develop if there's a period of warmer weather in late winter, so the tree will be better established when spring comes. If there's a cold snap, a layer of mulch or any kind of like protection should do.

    20°C today, exceptionally warm, and they forecast 22-24 tomorrow ^^
     
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  7. Dsm1gb

    Dsm1gb New Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    I’m in a high “desert” valley (zone 7b) at 4500 ft with a 14,000 ft mountain range surrounding us. we get all 4 seasons, it’s nothing like the California people imagine. In fact we’re hardly even recognized on the map .

    It was almost 80 F during the day a week ago but dropped down to around 37 F the last couple nights. Most of my (in the ground) maples have leafed out almosts completely. Some in the pots are just starting, while others are still waiting. I don’t know if this pertains from tree to tree? Or the type of conditions etc.

    I have not used any type of fertilizer, I’m afraid to in fact, but I’ll have to do some more research on the type of fertilizer for the potted maples as this is there second year that I’ve had them in pots.
     

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