Maplepocalypse

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Aspen21, Apr 16, 2023.

  1. Aspen21

    Aspen21 New Member Maple Society

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    So I am pretty frustrated right now with maples. I went on a spree the past couple years planting different cultivars and most of them died this winter it seems. One of them I planted a week before my daughters birth to be her tree and it was fine all last year..now looks dead, made it about one and a half years. I planted 6 different varieties last year at various times and various locations throughout my yard, now all appear to be dead. No green with a scratch test.

    When you guys get 1 gallon trees, do you plant them within a week or so, or let them fill out their pot before planting?
    I’m just very frustrated to have spent hundreds of dollars and substantial time to have nothing to show for it. All of these trees, but one, were from a certain mail order business.
    I even had one that I planted that died within a couple weeks of planting, and the nursery shrugged me off when I contacted them. I have plenty of other plants that are all fine.

    I had 12 maples, and am now down to 5. Two I planted in December of last year and three that have been planted for around 2 years. I haven’t had any other flowers or shrubs I’ve planted just kick the bucket like these trees do. What gives?
     
  2. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    Maples don't like deep planting. Other than that I have no idea, what could be so special with your maples, that they died.
    I prefer to plant trees, that are planned to be planted into the ground, as soon as possible. There is no positive effect on tree's vitality, if you let roots to get deformed, twisted and possibly circled in the container.
     
  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi @Aspen21 I agree with Sulev. Maples do not like to be planted deep. Soil over the trunk will cause big problems.
    As for the amount you gave lost, then planting method is a highly probable cause.
    Now as for buying young grafts,
    as we all do sometimes. They are not 100% going to take. I think you will find that many of us have lost a few in the first couple of years. If they get past year 3 then the odds are good.
    Also I will never plant out a two year graft into the open soil. 3 to 4 years is the minimum. Now I know people are impatient to get them into the ground, so if this is the case with you, then think about buying more mature trees. Yes they cost more, but your chances of success goes way up.
    Just to also say that a very well known member and YouTube favourite said, 'hey sometimes trees die'. And. Japanese maples do have a tendancy to do this more than others I'm afraid. A little bit precious,is a comment I've heard more than once about these trees. I myself cannot grow certain types where I live, so have given up on that variety. Also there are some being sold that are definitely a buyer beware maple. So if you are thinking about purchasing more, then do come to this forum and ask members their thoughts about what you are thinking of buying. It may save you a lot in $ and stress.
     
  4. Aspen21

    Aspen21 New Member Maple Society

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    Location:
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    I’ll probably follow that suggestion of a 3 to 4 year minimum as well.
    As far as planting, towards the end of last year I started amending some of my clayish soil with pete but that didn’t seem to help, lol. I’ve got a ukigumo that’s fairly close to a hana matoi and the hana matoi looks like it bit the dust but ukigumo is fine. Drives ya crazy ya know, haha.
    I started planting the maples a bit higher then ground level last year, and I don’t add any dirt on top of where the nursery had their maples dirt line at.. just a bit of mulch that’s a couple inches away from the trunk.
    Maybe it was just a bad year? I’ve always loved the trees and bought a home a couple years ago that has the space for me to finally do some gardening. I’ve planted a maple just about everywhere I’ve lived the past 15 years.
    Main reason why I’d go ahead and plant these two year crafts out in the yard is for easier upkeep.. but in the future I might just keep them in a pot for a year or so. :)
     
  5. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    @Aspen21 I would agree with your most recent thoughts and the advice of the other posters. JM's definitely do better planted in ground at a bit larger size than one gallon, I think it helps them to build up some stamina first. (When growing them on you may need to give some additional winter protection to potted JM's in zone 6B.) Also, if the trees come from a nursery in a warmer zone than your loction they may need some time to get used to your winter climate, especially as they may have lived in a polytunnel before they came to you.

    With clayish soil I would be planting the maples at least 3-4 inches above grade in a flying saucer shaped area of amended soil.
     
    AlainK and Aspen21 like this.

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