Need advice for red Japanese maple

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Klrogero, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. Klrogero

    Klrogero New Member

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    I planted this red Japanese maple last Spring. It is only about 3 feet tall. It has not leafed out this year. It does have growth at the trunk of tree only. Are these considered suckers? Do I need to trim these off? I water regularly and I’m in South Alabama so everything has been in bloom for months now.
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi Klrogero, I'm sorry to say that the maple you purchased has died and what you are seeing below is growth from the strong rootstock.
    Now all is not lost, but that means allowing the shoots from below what would be the graft to grow to what appears a red palmatum that's often used as the host to many more delicate maples.
    The first thing I suggest is to do the finger nail test on the wood above the growing shoots. It is a simple scraping off of the bark to reveal what is going on beneath the bark. If you see green then it's still alive, but I expect you will see brown. If you do then it is dead.
    This then is decision time for you, to remove the whole tree or cut the trunk just above the new growth and encourage what you have into a tree.
    I'm afraid this does happen sometimes when a graft has failed. 'Not your fault'.

    Hope this is of help
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  3. Klrogero

    Klrogero New Member

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  4. Klrogero

    Klrogero New Member

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    Thank you for the input. I’ve never had one of these trees before. I did the scrape test. It appears white under the bark to me. Also, the shoots at the base have little holes in them. Not sure if that means it is diseased. What do you think?
     

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  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi Klrogero, I see no green at all so IMO above the new growth it is indeed dead. At this time of year you would also see new new shoots and leaves.
    The leaves that are growing are being eaten by something. Not diseased.
    IMO it's decision time for you, if it were my tree I would now do a clean cut a couple of inches above the new growth and allow the lower to grow. You can already see what the leaves will look like.
    As far as leaves being attacked, I would consider spraying with a water and soap solution, this is better IMO than chemical sprays.
    The other option is to remove the tree, purchase another and start again. The likelihood of having two failed trees in a row is quite remote.
     
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