Japanese Maple assistance

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Scott C, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Hi All, new to the forum. I am located in US- NJ. I have had 2 japanese maples die on me in one location. The first one was a bloodgood Japanese maple which lasted about 2.5 seasons before the leaves dried up and the bark started peeling off. We pulled that tree out and bought a Coral Bark Japanese maple. I did a lot of research on planting this time just in case I screwed something up last time. This tree was planted in May of 2018. We watered the tree every day- either with the hose or with a soaker hose on a timer. Never gave the tree any fertilizer as I was told it wouldn't need it. It looked pretty good last year. We wrapped it up for the winter, using burlap going about 3/4 of the way up the trunk. We used posts for the burlap giving the tree room to breathe (about a 6" diameter from the tree trunk to the burlap). We unwrapped the tree this year after the cold weather was over and it didn't look good, but not too bad yet. As the weeks went on it just got worse. Leaves shriveling up, the beautiful coral colored bark turning brown. And we had a very mild spring here. Right around the middle of May we realized that it seemed that the tree was dying and I called an aoborist to come out and take a look. He said we did everything right (planting, watering, winterizing) and that the spot these 2 trees were planted in may have fungus (Verticillium Wilt) in the soil and could be the cause of the trees dying.
    I removed the tree today and took a number of pictures, one odd thing that I noticed was that there are a good number of strange white soft "roots", for lack of a better word, growing out of the root ball, you can see them in the pictures..
    I am hoping that someone can provide me with some insight, as to whether or not I'd be crazy to plant another Japanese maple in this same location... we just want a Japanese Maple tree in our front yard!!!
    Just as a backgroud these trees are planted in the front of our house facing the south so they are in the sun all day long.
    Please see pictures and let me know if you need additional info, thanks!
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Member Maple Society

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    Hi, not good at all, firstly Japanese maples are best for under planting. They need dappled shade to grow well. If you can't manage that they thrive on early morning sun and afternoon shade. You state you were watering every day, did you prepare the soil for adequate drainage. If your maples were sat in water then root rot occurs and your tree will die. Personally I would put another tree in that location that tolerates full sun. A sweet gum( Liquid Amber) has similar leaf shape and has spectacular Autumn colour that is worth considering. But again ensure good drainage when preparing the position. Don't give up on Japanese Maples, but give them exactly what they want re positioning. Best of luck.
     
  3. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Member

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    Those fleshy root things are some other plant and not from your maple. Likely it was in the soil in the container the tree came in.

    As you know, @Scott C, Sangu Kaku generally does well in full sun as do red leafed acer palmatums like bloodgood and especially red-leaf disectums; in fact the red leafed types generally do poorly in shade. So, I do not think your selections were inappropriate for the location. While there may be a problem with the site, there is no indication of verticillium in the pix - it produces distinctive blackish rings (or streaks longitudinally).

    The history you relate indicates to me that the tree died near/at/under ground level over the winter. Three things are unusual in my estimation, though I am very unsure of their exact meaning.
    1. The wood shown in the cross-sections appears corky and not darkened.
    2. The flaking/peeling bark just above ground level - the cambium has disappeared
    3. There are only fine roots at the soil surface
    Perhaps you could provide more detail about the roots. Were they severed when you removed the tree or did you just 'pop it out'? Was this ball & burlap or in a large pot.

    Also, it seems possible that you have not been watering properly. You have a nicely mounded site, which is good for drainage but which creates certain difficulties.
     
  4. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    The tree was planted without exposing the root flare, or if it was exposed then after exposing it all that black mulch was piled up too high causing the bark to get too saturated. The freezing over winter causes the bark to separate away cracking and drying out the cambium layer. The moisture usually causes the graft to fail too. Coral bark maples are especially prone to this type of failure when mulch or soil is too high.

    The white roots are most likely from the root stock being alive. This is the time Japanese maples put on new roots, they are white just like in the picture. Sometimes they can live several months into the growing season despite the fact that the top of the tree is dead.

    I see landscapers around here routinely killing trees with their volcano mulching techniques. This kind of winter damage is almost always the result.

    The tree should have handled the site conditions. It could not handle the saturated bark with freeze thaw damage over winter. Mulch should not touch the trunk ideally, but should never be piled up like that especially when it retains too much moisture against the trunk. The damage to the vascular system was widespread enough that it caused the tree to decline once it could no longer keep up with moisture loss. Sometimes it can be so bad that the tree does not leaf out at all.

    If it were Verticillium Wilt you would see a dark ring in the cross section cut.
    See the picture in this link for more information:
    Maple (Acer spp.)-Verticillium Wilt
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2019
  5. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

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    Your location, "USA" is not very helpful. A southerly exposure in Georgia is not the same as upstate NY. JM are under-story trees, so while a few out in the open do survive, they are at a disadvantage. They have thin bark which can be split easily by freezing sap when it freezes overnight in spring after a warm day has filled the sunny, warm side of the trunk with sap. This almost always happens on the south/southwest side. Young trees are more susceptible than older trees. For that reason and others, they should be planted with some shade protection on the trunk to the S & SW. Watering a tree of any kind every day is wrong and bad and counterproductive. With very few exceptions, every plant needs to cycle through wet, dry, wet, dry, wet, dry conditions. While some may live with constant wetness, like a Bald Cypress, they are unusual. There is very little exact science on why trees and landscape subjects die prematurely. That's because dead stuff is cheaper than the investigational work necessary to establish all the possiblities, and people just buy new or buy other and move on. You should move on, too. You're 0 for 2 with JP in that location. Shop around and investigate other trees that like a open southerly exposure for your zone. For example, Zelkova serrata 'Goshiki' is a variegated Japanese Elm, Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata' is Tri Color Beech, Poncirus trifoliata "contorta' is a 'Flying Dragon' hardy citrus with inedible decorative orange fruit, Acer pseudoplantanus 'Esk' (AKA, 'Eskimo Sunset') is a variegated Sycamore, Cornus contraversa 'Janine' is a gold and green variegated Dogwood, all of these are exceptional beauties that are happy in full sun. There are lots more, but you only need one. There are only so many trees you can plant in your limited space, and so many wonderful candidates that you will never be able to have one of each that you might love to have, so take your time, buy one from a company that will plant it for you, pay for the extra warranty, and I'd bet the 3rd time's a charm...
     
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  6. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    HI, thanks for your reply. Appreciate the possibility of eliminating Verticillium from being the cause. Agreed that the roots were very fine and only at surface level. When I removed the tree, I just stuck a shovel under it in a few locations and lifted- it wasn't difficult at all to remove the tree. The large roots that you see in the pic were not severed when I dug the tree up, I am assuming are the roots from when the nursery transplanted the tree from the ground to the pot, but I could be wrong. But those larger roots that you see were not growing in our ground. The tree came delivered to me in a burlap bag which I removed upon planting.
    I am thinking that wrapping the tree too tightly over the winter caused some issue with the trunk, and you may be correct about not watering the tree enough. We may give it one more go in September. Going to use a different nursery this time, though.
    Thanks again for your reply.
     
  7. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Thanks JT. I guess I didn't give enough info- I planted the tree about 4 inches above the ground line, and I kept the mulch away from the tree trunk. So even though there is a mound there, the tree is above ground level because we have a clay/sandy soil mixture a few feet below the tree. Here is a picture I took when we were planting it:
    20180501-141840.jpg
    I did notice when we unwrapped the burlap early spring that the trunk was really wet and looked sort of green, that would absolutely support your theory about saturated bark with freeze thaw damage. THanks again for the input, it is immensely helpful!
     
  8. Scott C

    Scott C New Member

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    Hi, sorry, my location is NJ. You gave a lot of amazing suggestions in your post and at this point I totally agree about having the company plant it and buying the warranty. Really really good stuff here, thanks so much!
     
  9. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Member

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    This was a field grown tree. The deep roots were severed when it was dug and then the root ball was wrapped in burlap (known as ball & burlap). Usually the soil in the bag is a very dense clay that when wet holds water quite well, which is a convenience mostly for the middle man.

    Knowing this makes clear to me that you were not watering properly. Your daily watering (or sprinkling really) just moistens the surface of the mound and then runs off. So you only got root growth on the surface. This likely isn't what killed your tree, but it is a factor that would have long delayed if not prevented it from becoming 'established' and relatively care free.

    A better way to water in this circumstance is to place the end of the garden hose at the root margin (the edge of the ball immediately after planting and later near the drip line edge of the canopy) and let water run slowly from it, as slowly as needs be to not have it run off. Say you do this one day, on the next day put the hose end about one-third of the way around the tree and on the third day the last section of the perimeter. Every a week or two, dig down 6+ inches with a hand trowel to check the soil moisture and/or calibrate your watering. The soil should be damp, but not 'wringing' wet. Replace the soil, of course, and adjust your watering accordingly (later in the season you should encounter roots. IMHO, in a new landscape setting, it is better to water heavily (deeply) but infrequently than to water lightly, frequently. Your surface-only roots are the consequence of watering lightly, frequently. After a couple of years, your tree should be vigorously growing and not require such attention.
     
  10. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    We are talking about two different things. With clay soil, which we have too, you absolutely build up the bed, planting the tree above ground level. This is the only way our collection of 60+ Japanese maples, conifers, (too many to count) dwarf perennials survived the last 8 months. We had the most rain in over 125 years. It was a true test to this planting method.

    A new lesson in planting Japanese maples in areas of freeze thaw throughout the winter where soil stays extremely moist. (Actually it's a good practice for all trees) especially those with thin bark. You must expose the root flare. This is even more important in B&B trees. You must remove the top 2" or more, unless you already see a root flare. What is the root flare? Well if you ever walk in the woods you see the trunk thicken and flare out at the roots. Mother nature knows how to plant trees! In the forest you always see a root flare.

    Balled and burlap trees are especially prone. When the machine digs the tree the surface soil is compressed causing the soil level to rise up the trunk. Also, unfortunately most come from soil that holds much more moisture and lets less air around the trunk, in contrast potting soil made up of pine bark offers better drainage and air to circulate.

    The last photo shows that the root flare was not exposed, also in your photo of the roots #8 of 9, you see the left side the trunk has no soil and is straight. The right side where the roots are coming out is too high. This also leads to circling roots that choke the tree leading to death later in life. Those new roots on the right side tend to eventually spread left, grow large and cut off the vascular system of the tree.

    Recently I was thrilled to see This Old House do a video of finding the root flare when planting on our local PBS. I wish more "professionals" would wake up and start planting trees correctly. Check out the part at 4:00 in the video and let me know if you have any questions.


    Doing this will keep your tree from dying next time. It's not your fault, not many sources of info out there touches on the root flare. I see a lot of dead trees planted without exposing the root flare.

    The volcano mulch techniques are another huge problem, but with your clarity and picture, I now know I was mistaken by the first photos. The soil in photo 8 was black from the mulch, not actually mulch, but was the soil from the root ball, which was too high.

    I have several Japanese maples that are 30+ years old down to 5 year old trees. All were planted by exposing the root flare. I see a wide variety of trees that were not and they all end up dying.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  11. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    PS I would buy a container grown Japanese maple over a balled and burlap tree.

    That's why the tree popped up easily. In photo 8, see those big roots that were cut when the tree was dug. Only a few new roots, maybe 25% of the feeder roots were in the ball. The rest of the roots were left behind in the growing field. When you buy a container grown tree you get 100% of the roots. This is so important with slow growing trees like Japanese maples and dwarf conifers.

    Again, I can't stress this enough that the way the tree was planted caused it to die. I am not guessing. My experience with wet winters freeze/thaw causing the bark damage killed your tree. I am as certain as the sky is blue. Check out the video and you will see how to expose the root flare, since you have clay you will plant above ground level and build up the bed like you did before, just spend the extra time to expose the root flare and you will be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  12. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Actually this was the video I originally thought of showing you, the other covers it but I like this one because they stress the importance of planting high too. You should get a good idea about the root flare, teasing the roots, ect.

    When things slow down, we plan to make a video for Japanese maples on the forum to help people since there is so much bad information out there. Also, keep in mind, not too many garden centers, landscapers, and even arborist understand the special requirements for Japanese maples. I know a few arborist that are amazing when it comes to large trees but admit to me that they are not comfortable with Japanese maples. I'm not trying to put anyone down, it's just a truth that many don't have much experience outside of large trees.
     
  13. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Member

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    Is this a normal practice in 'freezing climates? I guess the rationale is that this will shade the trunk from desiccating bright sun during the winter and that in some way isolate the trunk from drying wind? Bright sun and dry wind can desiccate the facing parts of the tree, but will not kill the tree. IOW, I do not understand this practice. It makes no sense to me.
    Now I'm reading 'sort of green' to mean that it had algae growing on the bark as opposed to some green bark as is normal on acer palmatums until they are quite old. Algae growing on tree trunks is normal in my area during the winter and into spring.

    Frankly, I think this burlap wrap, whether on the trunk or actually 6 inches away, is what did your tree in. This is based on the simple prejudice that I've never done such a thing and I've never seen such damage to a tree before.

    IMHO, exposed root flare pertains to having roots shallow enough to get adequate air/oxygen - it is indeed very important. But I don't think burying the root flare explains the death of your tree. When exposed to the normal fall pattern of deepening overnight frosts the entire tree sugars up cellular fluids so they won't freeze. Most acer palmatums will withstand zone 5's -15F cold without cellular damage (NJ is all zone 6 or 7). Roots are somewhat less robust, but this is factored into the USDA zone grading. The ground does not get as cold as the air above, so burying the root flare actually insulates it from the cold to some degree.

    I'll just add that in the last year I learned on this board that people sometimes mound soil over the graft union of maple cultivars to get the cultivar to make its own roots and not have to display an unsightly union that doesn't match the tree in size or bark texture. Such things usually take more than one season to accomplish, which means the tree can survive for at least a few years with a buried root flare in a "freezing climate".
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  14. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Come to the Midwest and give it a try. You can watch the tree die. Loam soil holds water against the tree bark. The roots are able to withstand constant contact with soil. The trunk can not. You may have never seen it before but I have seen it dozens of times. Coral bark cultivars are very prone. I have also seen it happen to container grown maples with high composted peat in the soil mix that stays too moist. A large grower just West of here got a new ops manager. He wanted a one size fits all for all their perennials, conifers, and deciduous trees to save money. After a couple seasons many of the bark at the base of the trunks started cracking in Japanese maples and other sensitive trees. When they repot they continue to add 2" potting mix to the top. Not a big problem with pine bark. But when your mix is composted peat and hardwood it holds too much moisture against the bark. The tree fails. Zone hardy has nothing to do with it. The biology of sugars, cells, ect has nothing to do with it. You may have never seen it before, but that doesn't make it untrue. Books can't cover all regions, that's where real world experience counts.

    The tree may have only been planted for a season, but it was probably too low at the growers field too. It can be a cumulative effect of moisture held against the bark during the dormant season weakening it, then Summer offers a break, but after a few seasons and the right elements over Winter and you end up with a dead tree. In this case our very wet Winter with a hard freeze in January-February did it in.

    Some cultivars handle it better than others, but Coral bark is highly susceptibile. Those that handle it better or live in a different climate may not suffer the bark damage. Those trees usually die due to girdling roots. Do a Google search of "girdling roots in Japanese maples" and you will see why it's important to expose the root flare.

    The green is the Acer palmatum root stock. It's still alive.

    Burlap is used to as Winter protection from wind, winter sun, ect. Burlap near a trunk will not kill a tree otherwise burlap tied around the trunk would not be common practice in b&b trees.

    The expansion of water when it freezes between the heart wood and bark is a destructive force. I see it in poorly pruned Japanese maples, especially in large trees were a large branch is removed. Water/moisture gets underneath the bark and expands, causing the bark to fail all the way down the trunk over time. This happens in my climate too, but may not happen everywhere. Many are unaware but it doesn't mean that it's not true.

    I have never had moss on my Japanese maples over Winter. I learned something new that it happens to your trees in your climate. Guess what, I've never seen that before and I believe it could happen and it's most likely true. I certainly wouldn't say it can't happen because I never saw it or read about it before, instead I would say that's where personal experience in your region is of value.

    Things I get away with in bonsai, like planting a Japanese maple on it's side I can do in well draining soil and Winter protection, I can't get away with in the landscape with our soil and Winter's. Many rooting techniques are done in a pot for a reason. Air layering works in the growing season, but slap some wet loam around a branch, keep it saturated, wrapped in plastic, (even with drain holes) over winter and see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  15. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    In addition to above. More information on the importance of exposing the root flare to avoid girdling roots: (also see prone trees list for most susceptibile trees)
    "Planting. Dig planting holes 2 to 3 times as wide as the root ball, with sloped sides and no deeper than the root ball. In heavy clay soil dig the holes shallower than the root ball by at least 3 inches. Make sure there is no soil above the root flare. If there is soil above the flare, very carefully remove it down to the flare. Apply mulch no deeper than 3 inches and never against the trunk of the tree."
    Girdling Roots

    Don't burry your root flare to increase cold hardiness.

    One other with pictures:
    Trees and shrubs – The Garden Professors™
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  16. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

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    I agree with everything Osoyoung says here.

    This series of posts has kicked up more BS than you'd find in a corral. The depth of any tree hole is a function of the local drainage and soil. The tree needs to be in a zone of access to moist earth without being in a constant pool of water, or being watered daily. In normal loam the crown should be approximately flush with the surface. In very low land with a high water table, slightly higher. In clay, also approximately flush on level ground, but on low ground where water collects or drains poorly... put a species tolerant of wet feet, don't try to accommodate a bad site to an inappropriate choice of trees. By now it should be clear that existing conditions, especially drainage is a lot more important in "how to plant" a tree than just how deep or not deep the tree should be planted. Planting too high, meaning not flush with the site surface, will put the existing roots at a disadvantage because ordinary weather variation may mean occasional drought conditions for the tree before it can put new roots into the normal root zone (of that site). Ordinarily, any tree should be able to adapt to existing conditions because it's planted in the correct depth, -flush with the surface. Most trees have roots that grow just below the surface. That's where the rain wets the ground the most. Some trees put down deeper anchor roots. They are coincidentally taller trees. They can take advantage of deeper moist soils when (really: where) the water table isn't too high.

    As to exposing the upper roots so they can breathe, give me break. Roots are designed to live underground. Period, end of thought. The normal condition of soils of all kinds allow some escape of gasses. The gasses are the product of decaying materials. Oxygen and CO2 is absorbed by the leaves from the atmosphere, and water as a vehicle for mineral compounds is absorbed by the roots in the soil. Clay soils are heavier, which means more dense, and "breathes" less, but there is a concurrent lower volume of decaying material in clay, perhaps because there is less biological activity in that circumstance. This is a chicken-and-egg question: Which came first; less humus because of lower mineral fertility, or lower mineral fertility because of less humus present? Most clay is dominated by a single mineral, be it alumina or silica or something else. Too much of any element means deficient in some others. Some clays are very rich in spite of being natively too compact. Clay is a particle size, not an element. Plants that are adaptable to growing in clay do well, those that need more porous soils shouldn't be planted in clay, just as those not tolerant of too wet or too dry blah, blah, blah.

    A tree planted "too deep" will adapt. Period. It can be done on purpose to "ground layer" a woody plant so as to remove it with a set of its own roots after some period of time. You can't kill a tree, -any woody plant by planting it moderately too deep. EXCEPT, a tree too deep to get to moist ground, -as in a desert or other habitually dry site. Any tree kept too wet, or too dry, will die. All having nothing to do with "how deep".

    As to "volcano" mulching: More BS. Wood chips DO NOT compact. They DO NOT cause death by staying too wet. If they are too wet, imagine what the moisture conditions of the surrounding ground must be? Many, or even most woody shrubs are grown in nurseries in pots of wood-chips for the first five or so years. Wet wood-chips, and they do just fine. Moss should be kept off bark because some trees, but not all, have problems with some kinds of moss consuming the bark down to the cambium.

    The tops of woody plants can take much colder conditions than roots can because wintering wood is relatively dry, whereas roots are wetter. There are two basic kinds of roots: fibrous and fleshy. Fibrous roots contain a lower percentage of liquids and will withstand freezing and a deeper level of freezing than fleshy roots which contain a much higher percentage of liquids. It's a simple concept of how much the cell walls have to expand to contain some amount of liquid which is expanding with lower temperatures, and of course, the length of time in that frozen condition. This is an important consideration when comparing weather zones. It gets just as cold in the Texas panhandle as Michigan, but the depth of cold for a couple days in Texas compared to months in Michigan makes the difference. Also, Michigan is wet cold, Eg: freezing liquids in roots, verses dryer ground in Texas insulates against the cold air.

    All of this redounds to knowledge of local conditions being superior to General Wisdom. And, a lot of people are walking, talking fertilizer containers.
     
  17. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Member

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    Just trying to learn something, @JT1 and I'm having trouble with the logic of the inferences of cause and effect. If the root stock is alive, and the tree at/above the union, then you've contradicted you claim about the root flare - the root flare is in the root stock.

    I've long seen it claimed that the union is the most vulnerable spot to freeze damage. Certainly with roses in zone 5 of the Rocky Mountain area this was the case. We usually planted the union below ground level and even mounded mulch over the base of the rose for winter, for example. As far as I recall, it is near impossible to keep an acer palmatum in a landscape planting in Colorado Springs because the relative humidity is about 15% when it is above freezing on a winter day - the tree simply desiccates because the ground is still frozen. When that happened there the bark was paper glued to the wood and did not separate or flake off. The same is true here when an acer palmatum gets 'winter burn' on the southerly 'faces', though the relative humidity rarely falls ever below 50% in Anacortes. Logically, it seems to me that for water to get under the bark, freeze, and lift it, the cambium must have been freeze killed at the same time - I don't understand how that happens if the tree experienced a normal fall hardening. It seems relevant to understanding what really happened to @Scott C's tree(s).

    Further, girdling roots is a problem that originates with pot grown trees. I argue that the reason for exposing the root flare and more is to ascertain whether they exist and to correct the situation at planting time. All of the site preparation issues effectively are to assure that the surrounding soil is not so compacted as to direct roots to again growing circumferentially because they cannot penetrate the wall of compacted surrounding soil. Without this, roots will naturally tend to grow away from the trunk.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  18. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Coral bark maples are more prone, in this case the Acer palmatum understock is still alive. Sure it's probably not well, but it's still alive hence the root development. You can find several instance where scion dies but understock is alive. Sometimes it will even push growth.

    Do some research. Ask someone you believe about exposing the root flare. You clearly can't learn anything from me.
     
  19. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    @Scott C There has been a lot of back and forth. I think it would be helpful to read this information and see the included pictures:

    Trees and shrubs – The Garden Professors™

    Please take the time to read it all the way through. The picture "Rotted trunk clearly visible in improperly bagged B&B". It shows what can happen when the bark is in contact with the soil. In this example it's like your tree but in reverse. With your tree, the green bark understock tolerates being in contact with wet loamy soil, for a longer time, (but would ultimately fail too, but there is more going on). Coral bark just happens to be more sensitive. The new root growth from the understock is due to the understocks drive to survive. Fibrous roots below suffocate while those white roots form closer to the surface where oxygen and moisture are in balance. (Fibrous roots near surface take in moisture and nutrition and need oxygen to do so, deep roots anchor the tree and are adapted to taking in moisture during drought in a low oxygen environment) These adventitious roots are unable to support life but most trees fight until they die. The coral bark failed due to rot and moisture from the soil, rain, snow melt, gets underneath the bark. This moisture freezes, expands, and cracks/ destroys the remaining live bark from the inside out. By this time of year it looks like your tree. In early Spring it may appear somewhat normal, but to the trained eye you can see the small cracks and when pushed you notice a fine space or give between the heart wood and bark. I hope this offers clarity on what happens.

    To understand the importance of exposing the root flare, again read the article above. Then watch the two videos to learn how to do it right going forward. It's sad that this is not common knowledge. Some trees tolerate improper planting better than others. While some climates and site conditions are more forgiving. It just so happens your cultivar and environment are not very forgiving when it comes to this improper planting. Being above ground helps but it was not enough given this tree was balled and burlap in loam soil. The first video addresses how to properly expose the root flare. The second gives a better picture because you have the bare root to get the big picture.

    Let me know @Scott C if you have any questions.

    We grow all this on top of solid clay. I speak from experience it can be done:
    japanesemaplegarden

    Not many of our plants in our collection would not survive planted in clay. They would not be healthy if they were all planted without exposing the root flare
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    wcutler likes this.

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