Is my Bloodgood JM dying?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by David Donovan, May 26, 2022.

  1. David Donovan

    David Donovan New Member

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    Hello, I have a Bloodgood japanese maple and have had for 2 years in a pot on my condo balcony. I am on the third floor in Toronto, south facing. The JM was fine last year but this year it all started to bud in April and then all the top buds died and one of the higher branches that did bud now seems to have wilting leaves. I wrapped the pot through the winter but not the top of the tree, but it was in a more sheltered place than it is in now.

    Does my JM have a fungus or is this wind/frost/water damage? What should I do?
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good afternoon David and welcome to the me maples forum. Your Bloodgood could well ve suffering from too much water or not enough water. But as often happens on balcony pots, it's a drainage problem. So many people place maples in a nice pot and don't want a mess from dirty water all over their decking etc etc. But maples like to have moist roots and very free draining soil. You should see the water draining through the bottom when you water.
    So looking at your photos I think that is your problem. Probably waterlogged roots that can't get oxygen to them and nutrients up the tree. Hense lower leaves, but nothing up top. I can't see anything else untowards.
    Others might have a different thought, but thats what I can see.
    Hope this is of help.
     
  3. David Donovan

    David Donovan New Member

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    Thanks Derek, I think something was clogging the hole at the bottom. I unclogged it and gave it a litre of water and within minutes it was drip, drip, drip out the bottom. Do you think that's it? Do you think the top will come back? Its looked rough for 3 weeks or so.
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Just give it some time, usually in June a second flush of leaves will start to appear. As you have unclogged the drainage hole, it should now start to recover. Don't try and feed it, and check to see when the soil appears dry before watering again.
    I didn't ask, how long its been in that pot... often the soil/ compost breaks down and there is nothing for the roots to feed on. I re pot every two years to ensure a good amount of good soil around the roots. I do mix my own btw. A very loose mix, comprising peat, horticultural grit, horticultural pine bark and good quality compost. You could almost say its an alpine mix. But it works, as maples thrive in free draining soil. I only water with rain water also.
    Hope that's pointed you in the right direction David.
     
  5. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Rising Contributor

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    No air, no oxygen = anoxia; ultimately, root death.


    ... not meaning to be pedantic.
     
    AlainK and Acerholic like this.
  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Not pedantic at all J. You are right.
     
  7. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    The first of the ten commendments for anyone who wants to grow maples, or just "plants".

     

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