Japanese Maples: Bloodgood vs. Burgundy Lace

Discussion in 'Maples' started by lily, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    I want to plant a Maple Tree in the middle of my front lawn. I'm very drawn to the red maple. I want a tree that will stand gracefully and about 6-12ft in front of my manufactured home. I browsed through the garden centre yesterday and found 2 JM's that I really like: Maple Bloodgood and Burgundy Lace. My lawn faces north. It will get morning shade and a bit of sun from the east and afternoon sun from the west. Will either of these grow in this exposure? Which Maple tree is best for me? I'm drawn to the gracefulness of the Burgundy Lace. Is it difficult to care for? As always, thank you everyone for helping me with my gardening.
     
  2. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    i vote Burgundy lace ,of course Bloodgood,are more easy to grown..
     
  3. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Alex, I purchased the Burgundy Lace today and planted it on my front lawn. I've never seen one grown before so I have no idea what it will look like later on. It looks really pretty and I hope it will grow for me. Do you have any idea how often I should water it? Thanks for your vote.
     
  4. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I hope you have ensured that it is well drained?
    Keep watered for at least the first year until the tree settles in. If you are having lots of rainfall this will be done for you, and you shouldn't water at all. Too much water is as bad as too little ......
     
  5. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Hi Lily,

    Congrats on your 'Burgundy Lace'! They are truly beautiful. Whis4ey brought up a very good point - make sure the soil drains well at the site where you planted your new tree. I can't strees the importance of this enough! This is a lesson I learned the hard way - losing trees to pests that thrive in wet, stagnant soil. Overwatering/poor drainage seems to be the biggest mistake gardeners make when first growing JMs. Been there, done that!

    Also, don't get crazy with the fertilizer. Maples need very little - if any - and too much is a bad thing. So, if you do fertilize, use 1/2 (or less) than what the package recommends, and only 1-2 times a year... I would definitely suggest something organic. Start with once a year in the early spring - before the leaves emerge on your 'Burgundy Lace'. If you focus on feeding/improving your soil instead of fertilizing the tree - you'll be the perfect maple grower!

    My only other advice - don't be afraid to prune. The gorgeous weeping habit of the laceleaf maple is best appreciated when you can see the curve of the trunk and main branches, so don't be afraid to thin out dense or crossing branches/shoots. If you let the tree be - it is likely to become a big red, shaggy-looking mound, and that's all. That said, you never want to chop off a 1/3 of the tree at once, but your maple will really respond well to frequent snips during the growing season. Unless absolutely forced to, leave the tree be when it is dormant in winter - without its leaves.

    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  6. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    whis4ey ~ Thank you very much for your advice. I live in the Fraser Valley, BC, we get a lot of rain here, especially throughout the winter months. How can I check to be sure that the area around my tree is getting good drainage? Thank you.

    spookiejenkins I appreciate your help. When I planted my tree, I sprinkled about a handful of bonemeal around the soil. I hope that will be okay. I promise not to fertilize too much. What could I use that is 'organic'? I've printed out your suggestions. This will really help me. Thank you.

    ps. I planted my tree the day before yesterday. It looks sooooo beautiful with it's branches blowing gracefully in the breeze. I have noticed a couple of leaves have gone crunchy at the tips. Is this normal?
     
  7. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The best way is to plant your tree high and then to mound up the soil around the root ball. If you haven't done this, and as the tree has just been planted, it would be a good idea to re-plant it this way.
    I (like you) use a little bone meal when I plant a new tree, to help with root development, and then I don't fertilise at all after that
    Like Spookie says ... they do not need much fertiliser
     
  8. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    whis4ey - thanks again for your help. I think I get it...so by building a mound around the base the water will run down away from the stem? I planted my tree level to the top of my lawn. Is that what you mean by planting it high? I never planted it any deeper than how it came in the pot when I purchased it.
     
  9. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    With respect, I don't follow the practice of "mounding up" or planting the tree higher than the surrounding soil. Nature doesn't do it this way, and it seems like a recipe for premature drying-out of the soil unless you are zealous about watering, or live in a rain forest.
     
  10. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Kaspian, thanks for your thoughts on this. Gee, now I've got 2 different methods and I'm not quite sure which is best? LOL.
     
  11. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    in FAQ read How to plant a maple,with good advice about dreinage...
    ciao
     
  12. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    As a rule Japanese maples should be planted a little higher than the surrounding soil. More than most other plants they need good drainage. Kaspian must live in an area where there is already good drainage. I (and a lot of others) don't.
    Kaspian's point of view (although genuinely held) is not generally accepted, so far as I know.
     
  13. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Hi Lily,

    I know all the advice seems contradictory, but this is largely due to the differing climates and soil conditions in which each maple grower lives. Please don't feel overwhelmed!

    A mounded planting means that the tree is literally set on top of your soil - without digging a hole - and then a berm of soil is built up around it to the appropriate level. This just ensures drainage and gives those with soils not ideal for maples a chance to grow them. It gives you greater control of the soil, and thus the health of your tree. Mounding is great for those that have clay soil (which never drains!). If you are lucky enough to have "loamy" or sandy soil (which drains quickly) planting in the ground is what you want. If you are not sure about your soil, the thing I might recommend is to talk to the BC equivalent of your local Ag Extension office, or go to a reputable local nursery and ask a lot of questions. Growers always like to talk. :) The Ag office can also help you with soil testing - usually with a kit about 10-15 dollars, and the results will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about your soil composition - down to it's macro- and micro-nutrient content (which they say you should always know before you fertilize anything anyway).

    From your earlier post it sounds like you got this, but the one constant with planting that any JM grower will tell you is to ensure that the tree is planted at the right depth in the soil - regardless of the planting method. Too deep and the collar of the tree (where a lot of transpiration or "breathing" occurs) will slowly suffocate. Too shallow and surface feeder roots will be exposed and die. So just make sure that the soil is at the same level at the base of the trunk as it was when it was in its pot. That's why you never see mulch mounded up at the trunk of a tree - but rather pulled away to form sort of a bowl - the tree being at the center.

    Regarding how well your yard drains... If you have areas of your yard that stay soggy days after a rain - you might have clay soil. Ideally, if you grab a handfull of soil (that you haven't recently watered) and squeeze it in your hand, it should not clump together into one piece, but rather crumble once you open your hand. If the soil stays in a tight clump after you release your fist - you have clay soil. If you just can't tell, start asking your neighbors that have nice gardens - they will know for sure! Again, any local nursery worth its salt will be able to give you lots of specific advice about the soil in your immediate area.

    About fertilizer and organics - that can get confusing too. Bonemeal is an organic product and it is definitely a good thing to add to the backfill when planting. Rock phosphate is great for this too and cannot burn the roots, but can be hard to find. You never want to add a bunch of fertilizer at planting time or soon thereafter; it is asking too much of your tree and will stress it out! You will want to wait 'til next spring - just as the buds start to swell - to fertilize.

    Generally, if a fertilizer or amendment product has low numbers in its NPK ratio (the three numbers on the front of the label that indicate the Nitrogen/Phosphorus/Potassium content - forgive me if you know this stuff already!!) it is an organic product. When you start seeing numbers greater than 10 in any of the three spots - it is likely synthetic - and nothing you need to use for Japanese maples. Remember to take good care of your soil, and you can grow anything.

    There is a great organic product just for maples - its made by FoxFarm. It's called Peace of Mind for maples. It's as good for the soil as it is for the tree. Also, the other organic product I swear by is liquid seaweed - there is a liquid concentrate or a dry water soluble powder that you can mix quickly. The seaweed can be added to the soil or applied as a foliar spray and it can do no harm - even if you spill the whole bottle by mistake! It does not have a lot of macronutrients (a very low NPK ratio) but is full of trace minerals and more importantly, plant hormones, that boost the plants health and increase its resistance to all types of stress - transplanting, sun scorch, wind burn, insect damage, and even soil borne pests. A third great product is Superthrive (although the package and label are rediculous! Pay them no mind.). This is a B vitamin supplement that is a great immune booster and root stimulator. Its perfect to use for several weeks after after planting to help establish strong roots. All these products can be found at www.wormsway.com. Sometimes you can get lucky and find seaweed at chain stores like Home Depot and Lowes.

    Regarding the few crispy leaves on your freshly planted 'Burgundy Lace' - this is most likely just the transplant shock - completely normal. It is just a result of futzing with the roots. This is normal and nothing to worry over. The two liquid products mentioned above - seaweed and superthrive - are great for this. No worries though.

    Please keep asking questions! We maple geeks love it! I for one, am happy to help in any way I can. :) I will caution you though - maples are addictive. Like potato chips - you can't have just one. Ha!

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  14. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    Well done, Spookie! I can't beat these advices! BTW, did you increase your collection?

    Nelran

    P.S. (6th street is amazing -and funny- all year round)
     
  15. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    whis4ey, thanks for being diplomatic about this. I should have stressed that I'm speaking for myself and my own growing conditions. Our "soil" here in coastal Maine is mostly sand with -- at best -- an accumulation of organic matter from leaf-fall and the like. Nutrients flush right out quickly and water of course as well.

    Another consideration is the cold, long winter. Plants here in general do better if they are snugly ensconced in the soil where the snow will provide some natural insulation.
     
  16. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Hey Nelran! Long time, Bud!

    Thanks for the vote of confidence in my humble advice! Yes, as a confessed maple addict, my collection has grown and I officially have more than 100 Acer palmatum cultivars. There are 10 other Acer species as well...all in containers. Granted - they are almost all tiny. Most I have had less than 5 years. I can hardly believe the numbers though! I just love maples. I am fascinated by them and just want to keep collecting!!!

    I have taken quite a few pics, but my computer isn't cooperating, so I can't upload them to share. If I would just spend a few bucks on my PC, rather than maples....nah! Pictures will have to wait. :)

    So, are your trees making it through summer? I know summer does not end down there until November though. :) They will be thrilled when the nighttime temps drop below 89! I tell you what, growing maples in Houston is a courageous endeavor! Congrats! If you can grow JMs in Houston - you are a magician!!! You should be giving the advice!

    Visit 6th street for me. I sure do miss Texas!
     
  17. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Kaspian ... we all have different views on things ... that is what makes the world go around. If you lived in my own garden you would soon know from the number of trees I have drowned why I have my current point of view :)
    If you read Spookies post (above) you will see that she has all the enthusiasm in the world, and takes the time to give advice at some length. I, on the other hand, am a man of few words ... I say what I believe to be right and then move on. That can sometimes seem a little , what shall we say, curt? I am pleased that I didn't offend
    Spookie ... I wish I had had you around ten years ago ..... I may have had fewer trees to cremate :)
     
  18. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    It's a pleasure to contact you again, Spookie. Thanks to a common supplier (Samantha Hatch); mine also grown (a little bit) this year, from 40 to around 70 (I realized that after 50 specimens is difficult to track and remember all cultivars!)

    C'mon, share with us your collection! I also have taken some pics from my new cultivars, but I didn't have time yet to organize them and post some pics on the forum. I have been pretty busy due some projects in my house and also at work; plus as ussual, dealing with the july/august hot wheater here, have been a lot of work to keep my maples more or less protected (As Gomero says: in " survival" mode).

    Well, Spookie, It have been hard time for most of my maples, with some of them seariously "fried" due mostly hot winds and high temps for too much time (even in pretty good shade). Right now, some are starting to recover with new leaves (several of the dissectum group, and my Shirasawanums 'Aureum'). Others have still practically all their leaves completely scorched, and others are doing incredible well with practically not scorch at all. Surprisily outstanding (for this time of the year) are 'Coonara pigmy' and 'Villa Taranto'. However, I have to recognize that until now, I dont have any "casuality" and I didn't lost a single cultivar.
    You're are right, after mid octuber, temps (finally) begin to drop a little (70-80s), so from my past experience, at that time of the year, most of the maples already have replaced all the leaves and (hopefully) once again, they will be ready for 'fall' color (mostly december until mid january).


    Following your advice, I'll try to visit it for Halloween.

    Best regards,

    Nelran
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  19. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Thanks Whis! Coming from a man of few words - those mean a lot. :) Unfortunately, 10 years ago, I was killing trees too. HA HA! Perhaps that is why I am so enthusiastic about sharing what I know with the peeps starting out with maples. I'm trying to re-balance my maple karma.

    This is such a cool forum.
     
  20. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you to each of you for all this wonderful help I've been given. I believe I planted my tree the correct way. Now, I hope it grows. I just have to add some mulch and maybe have a little ceremony. LOL ~ I've printed out this entire page to help keep me on track.

    Spookiejenkins ~ I appreciate the lengthy explanation to help me understand how to care for my little maple tree. I've always been drawn to maple trees too but this is the first time I've ever planted one. When we bought our modular home, I immediately pictured a small red maple right in front of the bay window. It's soooo pretty.

    I'll keep in touch and let you know how I am doing with it. By the way, I've taken a photo of it so I can show it off. LOL
    I'm wondering how tall and wide this JM will get?
     

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  21. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    You are most welcome, Lily. Thank you for the picture. :)

    Here's great info about the 'Burgundy Lace': http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ST025

    I was thinking the 'Burgundy Lace' was a laceleaf cultivar! I guess the name is a little deceptive. :) See, you learn something every day.
     
  22. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    spookiejenkins ~ Thank you for the link. That site is great so I bookmarked it. Hmmm. I never knew the tree would get flowers? I wonder what they will look like? I love my maple tree!. I hope it grows. You mentioned 'seaweed and superthrive' ~ when should I give it this and how much should I give it? Thanks again for helping me. Is about 3" of bark mulch about right for the winter?
     
  23. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Hi Lily,

    About the seaweed - you can apply that as often as you like. You can even apply it as a spray to the leaves ("foliar feeding"). I apply according to the weather - the hotter or windier it is, the more I use the seaweed - just for that extra immune boost. If the tree suffers any damage - seaweed! After I prune - seaweed! Beyond that, I usually apply the seaweed once a month or so. You can use it every time you water though. For your newly planted tree, I might give it seaweed once a week, so long as the tree needs to be watered.

    The Superthrive can only be given as a soil drench. If you use it on the leaves it burns 'em up! Superthrive is a root stimulator - a B vitamin shot for your tree. It even smells like a vitamin pill. It is great to use when planting. This stuff is REALLY concentrated and a little goes a long, long way - like one drop per gallon! Appropriately diluted, I would give it to your tree once a week for the next 6 weeks, (again, assuming the tree needs to be watered) to help the roots make themselves at home. After that, I really only use the Superthrive once in the spring, and then once more before that late summer flush of growth that maples have. The label and packaging of this product are completely goofy! It seems like someone translated the text to Chinese, then Spanish, then back to English - and put that on the label. From the way it reads - this stuff can fix anything. It's kinda funny.

    And yes, in case you were wondering, you can mix the seaweed and Superthrive together when you water.

    :)
     
  24. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    wow pretty color. I bet in no time you are going to have a nice view from that window.
     
  25. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    spookie ~I really appreciate all your help. I've printed everything out to guide me along. I'll let you know how it does. Thank you sooooooo much!
     

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