Newbie to Japanese Maples - Murasaki Kiyohime

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Alex Le, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Alex Le

    Alex Le New Member

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    Hello all!

    Recently I have gotten interest in Japanese maples. I've been watching alot of videos and reading a ton online and finally purchased one. It was a Murasaki Kiyohime from Mendocino Maples. It came in a 1 gallon container, so I immediately moved it into a 3 gallon pot. I chose this specific species is because it's a dwarf and I want to keep it as a container tree.

    I purchased a soil mix that had bark and such in there but that was it. I didn't use any fertilizer or any root growth materials. Just making sure I'm doing this right and hope all will be well.

    Please share any tips for this newbie and let me know how this tree looks to you. I'm hoping I didn't get ripped off with a crappy grafted tree.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Active Member

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    Hopefully you loosened the roots on the outside of the root 'ball' when you moved it into the 3 gallon pot. Then the roots will grow out from it more readily. You can do this gig of up-potting for about 10 years, then it will be unwieldy. Before then, you should learn to root prune it when repotting in spring, 'as buds swell', to be able to keep it in the specific size pot you eventually choose.

    It is extremely difficult to find cultivars that are not grafted. Well done ones will often become invisible with age. Sometimes it is impossible as the growth rates of the cultivar and root stock don't match. Most often, extremely low grafts are prized, but high ones can be good as branches of the cultivar can obscure the union from view. With low grafts, one can readily ground layer the cultivar by doing little more than burying the union. You will know within a few years time whether the cultivar readily roots or not - if so, cut it off the root stock when you've got enough adventitious roots.
     
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  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Hi Alex, first of all your tree looks very nice. Secondly bark in the compost is just what you want to aid drainage. I would be a bit concerned that yours might not drain, as it looks like a pot with no drainage holes. Maples will not thrive if there is too much water that cannot get away. Moist but well drained is always the way to go. Don't worry about feeding, especially now. Wait until next Spring and then apply a small amount of slow release fertilizer. We never feed after June 1st as you don't want lots of new growth in August/September. Good luck and enjoy.
     
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  4. Alex Le

    Alex Le New Member

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    thanks for the quick reply.

    when i took it out of the 1 gallon container pot, i used my fingers to rough up the sides of the root ball and tried to loosen it up as much as possible. I didn't however cut the roots that i saw was circling the outside of the pot as i have read on some articles. Hopefully roughing up is good enough.

    Do i need to fertilize it at all or anything.. since this is in June i've read it's too late for fertilizing and pruning and i should wait until next spring?

    thanks!
     
  5. Alex Le

    Alex Le New Member

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    thanks for the reply.
    this container I purchased has 2 1 inch drain holes on the bottom. When i first put it in the new pot, I thoroughly watered it and it drained out almost immediately so I think the soil is good.. although it was a premixed soil that contained bark and other things from Calloway Tree Shrub mix.
     
  6. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Active Member

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    yes, just roughing it up (aka loosening the roots on the outside) is good enough.

    I grow maples as bonsai in Turface MVP, a completely inorganic substrate - I fertilize all growing season long.
    I also grow maples as patio trees in medium landscape bark plus less than an equal volume of garden soil - I fertilize only in year one because uncomposted bark tends to consume, rather than provide, nitrogen (which it does in year 2 and thereafter).
    I also have maples as landscape plantings that I never bother to fertilize.

    My Japanese maples (a. palmatum, a. shirasawanum, and a. japonicum) show 2 or 3 periods of extending new growth each year. One from bud break that ends in late May and another from mid-June that ends in August. Particularly palmatum also extends weakly after that up to the time of leaf drop circa November. One can indeed make very weak trees by restricting nitrogen, maybe even weak enough to preclude one of these growth phases, but it also leads to weak budding. Further, trees cannot be forced to take in nutrients, they can only be restricted. IOW, fertilizing does not make growth happen that would not normally occur. Restricting fertilizer can only limit growth and maybe even adversely affect the health of your tree. On the other hand, if your growing medium contains all that is necessary, fertilizing will not produce any benefit.

    Winter hardening (the capacity to withstand temperatures below freezing) arises by the normal pattern of progressively deepening overnight frosts that occur around the time of seasonal leaf drop. This causes the intra-cellular fluids to be sugared so that they will not freeze so that ice crystals do not puncture the cell membranes (causing the cells to die). No tree copes well with sudden hard freezing and new growth is especially vulnerable. New growth is not really the problem, IMHO, nor is fertilizing to 'promote growth'. It is sudden, extreme swings in temperature.

    So, fertilize, if you wish. With proper application, the worst that can happen is that it goes unutilized and simply washes through the pot with the rain/watering.
     
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  7. Alex Le

    Alex Le New Member

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    Thank you so much for the great load of information. I'm really new to this japanese maple thing and i know i'll be coming back for more tips. Thanks alot.
     
  8. Atapi

    Atapi Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alex, I see you try to grow your tree in TX which is quite hot for JM tree. You may want to move it around in a shade area esp in the summer time with extra watering + good drainage would helped. I gave my brother a few to bring to Houston but they didn't grow well due to the heat and dehydration. If you search on this forum there are one or two JM growers that live in TX and you may want to check with them to see which cultivar that can stand the heat in TX. Just my 2 cents
     
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  9. Alex Le

    Alex Le New Member

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    thanks for the heads up. I have moved it to the front of my patio by the door. It gets about 2 hours of morning sun (8-10am) and then shade rest of the day. I've been monitoring it daily and so far it seems to be doing ok, except for some curled dried up leaves at the top of each branch. I'll take pictures of it later today.. hopefully nothing to worry about.
     
  10. Alex Le

    Alex Le New Member

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    Pictures as of today. The top leaves are brown and curling.
     

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