Is this normal JM growth?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by RookiePresent, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. RookiePresent

    RookiePresent New Member

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    I traded for 3 JMs, one red and two green. I'm not sure of their variety. The two greens have been putting on a lot of growth, but it doesn't quite look right. Initially, the leaves were just white with contrast on the veins but otherwise normally shaped. My redbuds did this as well, and they're growing in the same experimental media which I assumed was just lacking nutrients so I added a slow release pellet fertilizer.
    This fertilizer fixed my redbuds and the leaves came in nice and green eventually. Not the same for the JMs, because the newest leaves are still looking the same color wise. They also had slight insect issues, but I treated them and bugs don't seem to be going for the leaves anymore. So the leaves are straight, but they are this off-white color that I associate with nutrient issues. Is this normal, healthy growth for young leaves or do I have other issues? Something else?

    Any idea what type of JM they could be? I'm in zone 5b, but the plants are from northeastern Georgia. Thanks in advance!
     

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  2. maf

    maf Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    It doesn't look that unusual for over-fertilized growth of a young JM, many types will have interesting colours on vigorous new growth which eventually turns green. Impossible to say what cultivar they are at this stage, other than they are from species/sub-species Acer palmatum, rather than A. amoenum or matsumurae. Grow them for a year and let them settle down a bit and then have another look.

    Do they look as if they are grafts or cuttings or seedlings?

    Also, what is this experimental media of which you speak? Sounds interesting, it does...
     
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  3. RookiePresent

    RookiePresent New Member

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    They are seedlings. The lady I traded them from got them from her tree, so I am confident they are from seed.

    I don't think that they are over fertilized, because I expect my medium is devoid of nutrients. It is essentially just leaf litter with whatever soil happens to be mixed in. I had my plants in something else that was holding too much water and killing my trees, so I just wanted to try something else. This compost/leaf litter pile was tempting, so I gave it a try because anything would be better than what I was using before, but now all of my plants with this leaf litter media develop this coloring problem. I suspect the pH is off, and the plants can't take in what they need and not over fertilizing because this medium has sat unused for years just decomposing and when I did fertilize, I used way less then what was recommended just out of caution. I don't want to treat it for pH problems, so I will do a combination of careful slow-release fertilizing and repotting with some actual potting soil to improve the growth on my little maples.
     
  4. maf

    maf Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Leaf litter is relatively high in nutrients; it is after all the mechanism by which forests improve the richness of their soil over time.

    Perhaps I should have used the term "well fertilized" rather than "over-fertilized" to describe the growth of those young maples. Either way, if they were deficient in any major nutrients they would not be producing new long growth extensions and growth would be much slower. Given the nature of your growth medium it is possible there is some type of nutrient imbalance however, so you are doing the right thing by switching to commercial potting mix. It would not hurt to continue using a percentage of the leaf litter, combined with the commercial stuff.
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good afternoon @RookiePresent, they look perfectly normal IMO. It does suprise a lot of people how much growth seedlings make. But just to add, quite a lot don't make it past 4 years. In nature it's just the same. A natural thinning out process.

    D
     
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  6. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    To me, too much N (nitrogen) that causes long internodes, and that's OK when you want to "boost" a plant, but not enough of the other elements (P,K) and mostly a lack of mineral salts like Mg, Fe, etc. which causes chlorosis.
    In my opinion the problem comes from the soil, or the water you use to water them, and this has created an imbalance in the nutrients they can get. It can usually be solved by using a fertilizer with chelated iron when the first symptoms appear, think about it next year.
     

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