Maple freemanii- Help!

Discussion in 'Maples' started by FernP, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. FernP

    FernP Member

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    Hi everyone,

    We have purchased and planted an acer freemanii last February and it was developing well, with bright and healthy green leaves sprouting all over the branches.

    However, recently some of the leaves started turning reddish. There is no branch discolouration or fungus. We live in Lisbon (Portugal), right by the Atlantic Ocean in an area where gusts often carry salt residue, which could feasibly affect the health of some tree species. We are reaching the peak of the summer as well, and recently we have had a spell of very dry and sunny weather.

    Temperatures for the past two weeks have been similar to this week's

    [​IMG]

    What do you think may be causing this? Can it be fatal for the tree? What should I do to prevent it?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    May need to be watered.
     
  3. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Fern, maples (and other trees) can show stress by early coloration. It sounds to me as if your tree, freshly planted and not yet established, is healthy but suffering just a little. Ron may be right it that it just wants some water. The leaves will continue to color but you may get some fresh summer growth.

    The temps in your chart look fine, this is a tough customer, anyway. Water deeply every 10 days, get it through the fall where you may have some early leaf drop. Next year it will probably be fine and not need any special care beyond water if it is especially dry. The following year it will withstand the dry periods with no problem.

    I don't think you have special cause for worry, the tree just isn't established. Get it through the fall and you're home free.

    -E
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Water often enough to keep moist. Every 10 days probably not often enough. Water more along the lines of often and shallowly rather than infrequently and deeply. Most roots are near the surface no longer how long a tree has been in place, you can't force it to root more deeply and become less drought-susceptible by watering deeply. You can stimulate it to produce undesirable vulnerable lush new top growth during a dry period by watering heavily. Better to imitate spring and its frequent showers.
     
  5. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    after a good watering ,put pine bark around the trunk ,high cm 10 ;Lisbona is USDA zone 10!and this is one limited for maple coltivation ,however is possible ,with more love and good advice ,read FAQ in top page of this forum.
    in this zone watering is very important i suggest 50 litres every two days
    ciao
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  6. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I disagree. All maples are not equal, while this treatment is appropriate for Japanese maples, x freemanii is not so susceptible to root rot, or any other maladies. (Both parents as we know like a drink. ;))

    In spring the ground is already gorged with deep water, so the frequent showers keep the surface balanced with the deep soil (or under-soil). In dry summer the watering you describe will encourage too-shallow roots that will be forever heated and in competition. Maples we all know root near the surface, but there is "near" and "near." Shallowly watered maples will put their feeder roots right into light mulch if it's dry below.

    The idea is not to "force the tree to root more deeply" than is normal for the species, but to encourage it to root normally by letting the moisture filter up from down below.

    Whether 10 days is appropriate can only be determined on the scene, based on the local soil conditions. Indeed, it may be too long, but 80 F is not that hot either, indeed similar summer conditions occur in Hancock county Maine, where the hybrid is naturally occurring. (Ocean breezes, too.)

    Unfertilized -- and for goodness sakes don't fertilize it -- a stressed plant is unlikely in my experience to turn around and produce huge amounts of growth at this point in the season.

    -E
     
  7. FernP

    FernP Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys.
    We do have grass all around the tree so it would benefit if the tree rooted deeper rather than having shallow roots which would asphyxiate it. Seeing as we won't be getting much rain in the next month or so perhaps we should cut down the number of days in between watering?

    Yes Lisbon is one of the driest and warmest cities in Portugal, even though our summers aren't unbearably hot. Here's an insight into our climate:

    Average annual rainfall
    http://www.worldclimate.com/cgi-bin/data.pl?ref=N38W009+2100+08535W

    24-Hour average temperature
    http://www.worldclimate.com/cgi-bin/data.pl?ref=N38W009+1202+0003927G2
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Carl Whitcomb's 1978 (1991) book Establishment and Maintenance of Landscape Plants has a photo of a red maple root tip emerging from woodland litter. All trees and shrubs in humid areas produce a shallow mat of roots just below the surface. Deeper growing, anchorage roots make up a tiny proportion of the root system. You can water often enough to keep these smaller roots that are growing up where the air is regardless of how you water happy or you can torture them with alternating drying out and inundation - as might occur in a desert habitat.

    Most of the time you can only stray so far from natural models before it becomes counterproductive.
     
  9. FernP

    FernP Member

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    We have been watering deeply every 10 days, in addition to the shallow watering from the sprinklers that water the grass around it, and it seems to be doing much better now. There are new leaves and twigs growing and most leaves are once again displaying a healthy green colour.
    I shall post photos in a few months showing its autumn colours if I get a chance.

    Thanks for your help and advice!
    Fern
     
  10. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    what about fertilize?which use you?
     
  11. FernP

    FernP Member

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    We haven't been using fertilizer because we thought that it might be too late in the season for it to have any effect. What would you advise?
     
  12. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    one universal liquid fertilize every 15 days!
     
  13. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Fern, I recommend avoiding fertilizer for this year. You don't want to encourage new growth.

    At most 1/4 strength liquid with watering, but I would stay away altogether.

    Glad the tree is recovering! :)

    -E
     
  14. FernP

    FernP Member

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    Thanks guys. The tree is looking fine and there seems to be new growth, but now I'm not sure which advice to follow..
     
  15. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    FernP in this period, after one stress, every man, drink a mineral salt ,your tree "want" a little help ...
    ciao
     
  16. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Different schools, perhaps. My experience: stressed maples abhor fertilizer. (From the purely practical standpoint, why encourage leaf growth when the roots are clearly not fully established?) My personal philosophy in the garden is when in doubt, do nothing. And if things are going well, especially, do nothing.

    -E
     
  17. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I will add to the confusion with another view.

    I generally feel as Emery does: when in doubt, do nothing. Let the plant and Nature work things out.

    Having said that, I also have become an aficionado of seaweed extract as a general stress-reliever for plants. This contains almost zero nitrogen, so it does not stimulate new foliar growth, but it contains a wealth of other nutrients including especially potassium and phosphorus, which should help the roots get established.

    This probably sounds eccentric, but I have never heard anyone claim that maple folks are altogether sane.
     
  18. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    i agree with Emery and Kaspian ,if the plants in gardens are native plants , acer x Freemanii it is select in Nord America ,and conditions are different to Lisbon....
     
  19. FernP

    FernP Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I paid a visit to one of the local gardening centres and their advice was the same as kaspian's- use fertiliser rich in potassium and phosphorus, which i have been doing.

    The trees seem to be in much better shape now and fortunately over the last few days we've had more rain and cloud, lower temps and the wind seems to have eased up a bit, so hopefully they will survive.

    I just had one last question- do young deciduous trees shed their leaves much earlier in the season than adult trees?

    Thanks for all your help :)
     
  20. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    yes only after 2 or 3 years after transplanting the correct respect of seasons is good...
     
  21. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What will be effective depends on what, exactly is occurring. Maybe it would benefit from supplementation of a particular nutrient, maybe not. Soil sampling and testing is used to get an idea. Otherwise you are left with assumptions. Withholding fertilizer from a plant that needs it and overfertilization are both counterproductive.

    Do not apply anymore phosphorus without a specific need having been indicated.

    • There is no single reason why leaves turn red.
    • The young leaves in many species, and especially cultivated ornamental plants, are naturally red.
    • Many environmental factors can induce leaf reddening.
    • In non-agricultural landscapes, phosphate deficiency is not likely to occur and therefore will
    generally not be a cause of leaf reddening.
    • Before adding phosphate fertilizer, have a soil test performed to assess phosphorus availability


    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda chalker-scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/Red leaves.pdf
     
  22. FernP

    FernP Member

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    Autumn has arrived and the sun is beginning to hide behind a thick layer of cloud more often. Still our young freemanii is starting to display some showy colours, despite being early in the season for shedding where we live.

    Here are some pics.. I will try to take better ones when the sun is back and the colours are brighter, but so far I'm quite happy with this beautiful cultivar, which survived a summer that was quite windy and dry.
     

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  23. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    i'm happy for your A.Blaze..
    ciao
     
  24. FernP

    FernP Member

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    Thanks Alex and thanks for the tips as well, it would have withered and died if it wasn't for your help.

    I'll leave some pictures of our acers bloogood, which suffered a bit of scorch and wind burn but came through with some strong late summer growth.
     

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