Plant them “High and Dry”

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Jaybee63, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    We often see discussed about planting maples too Deep.
    For May years and from experience I always now plant them high.
    This entails removing the top layer of compost, exposing the root flare, this allows to identify girdling roots that are item present and will later cause problems. Any girdling roots are removed, no matter how big.
    I think they look much better with the root flare exposed and I have less problems.
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Hi Jaybee63, this a very good point, I believe so many maples are lost by first time growers due to planting too deep. I agree they do look so much better with the compost removed exposing the root flare. Good thread and photos.
     
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  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I don't know that planting that far out of the ground is the best situation. As for looking for root deformities the best way to do that is wash all of the roots and examine them, not just the root crown.
     
  4. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I’ve never had problems planting high. I never used to but I’m sure I have less problems since I started planting this way.
    I agree on washing and removing the compost, if I’m winter planting, then I will remove all the compost. I always root prune when planting out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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  5. vbx

    vbx Member

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    Planting too high is better than planting too deep. You can always add soil on top to cover some of the exposed roots.

    However, I planted my maple tree 3" high, but it has since settled and is now 3" below grade. Tree is pretty dang heavy too. So My only option is to remove any soil buildup that will cover the rootflare over time. What's also bad is the tree was already planted too deeply by the nursery. There was at least 2" of soil on top of the rootflare. So removing that makes the tree look like it was planted even deeper.
     
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  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Hi vbx, totally agree with your comment that planting too high is better than to low.
    If only garden centres gave that advice when they sell maples. Quality nurseries do give that advice.
     
  7. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I find so many maples suffer from a girdling root which will strangle the tree and the problem is hidden when they are potted deep covering the root flare in their nursery pot.
    It’s better to remove the top soil and expose the flare, then any issues can be corrected. I’ve cut some large major roots from young trees and provided they are securely staked and not allowed to dry out, they recover.
    2 that I planted out earlier this spring had to have a major root removed.
     
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  8. vbx

    vbx Member

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    Yeah, when I was prepping to plant my maple, I only read about having the soil level even with the soil level the tree was originally planted it. Never read about exposing the root flare. Which I knew what I know now.
     
  9. Cjart

    Cjart Active Member

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    Hello Jaybee63, I was wondering whether it was too late in the spring to dig around the roots of my Masu Murasaki that is about 5 years in the ground and remove the girdling roots that I am noticing. Does the root have to be completely encircling the trunk or only partially. I noticed this in the last few years as the soil around the roots has settled but thought that maybe it was too late to do anything. It seems like a very difficult thing to do at this point and I am wondering how not to kill the tree trying to help it. Thanks for your opinon and others as well. P1030383-1.jpg P1030384-1.jpg P1030385-1.jpg P1030386-1.jpg
     
  10. Cjart

    Cjart Active Member

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    Hi, Just wanted to add for anyone with this problem. My husband and I did remove the worst of the encircling roots on my Masu murasaki. We used a chisel and it turned out that my worst fear wasn't realized and that was that the encircling roots had become part of the trunk. The research we did on the web said that there was some property in the root that prevented it from joining with the trunk. So we just chiseled the beginning of the root that we could find and the end an lifted it away. Here is what it looks like now. So we will see how it fares with this "surgery".
     

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  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Hi @Jaybee63, just thought I would post this as I'm going to plant a new small maple 'Garnet' in higher ground. Plus expose the root flare, something I know you are very keen on. I do hope more people will read your excellent thread. It will save a lot dead maples taken to the local tip.
     

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  12. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Trees usually settle in the first years after planting, specially if the original planting mix is left around the roots and decomposes. I try and strip away as much it the potting soil as possible.
     
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  13. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I think the trees look better with the root flare exposed.
    Most of the seedlings I have grown on naturally sit with the flare exposed or very close to the soil surface.
     
  14. Acerholic

    Acerholic Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Hi @Jaybee63, I have always removed a lot from the top, as nurseries over fill pots. I've never removed anything from the roots before planting in the ground. I will give it a try with my new Garnet Tower.
    The learning never stops with gardening. Thankyou
     
  15. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Hi Cjart.
    Those roots have to go, but leave until early next spring just before it awakens.
    I would stake as well as it may not be so well anchored and wind rock will cause a problem.
    I often find girdled roots and always cut them off, no matter how major.
    The only issues I have ever had is when I didn’t initially did not stake.
    If the tree looks like it’s suffering, just thin out the branching and it will soon recover.
     
  16. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    All the below have had major girdling roots removed, the last picture shows how I plant, ground is raised by around 150 to 200 mm, I form a dish to help with watering and usually mulch.
    The ground settles over time, the dish disappears with watering and the maple stays above grade.

    08CB3766-9093-46D4-8E19-4C862D1012B1.jpeg D84496CB-B9DE-4778-A8E0-6EF372A2BCF0.jpeg 499E1D78-EBB3-4E97-98AA-ED351DFB9A9E.jpeg 2E80AD53-49C7-4FF9-997E-DD34605BAB10.jpeg
     
  17. Cjart

    Cjart Active Member

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    Thanks, Jaybee63. We did go ahead back in April and remove the girdling root that was showing above ground. So far so good with it. It leafed out as normal and looks unfazed at this point. It is next to a wire fence and so far seems to be okay. I originally staked it several years ago, but haven't for several years. I will keep an eye out to see if it seems unstable.

    Also posting a photo of a grafted tree that died and the root stock has survived to be a tree that is growing fast and has this root. It is a little ways away from the trunk, but I assume it has to go anyway.
     

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  18. Acerholic

    Acerholic Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Hi @Cjart, I always plant my trees in a square hole, this assists in stopping girdling roots. @Jaybee63, is this something you do?
     
  19. Cjart

    Cjart Active Member

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    Hadn’t really thought of a square hole helping but I can see the logic of doing that. Seems like a really good idea. Trying not to get any more trees to plant but you never know!
     
  20. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Yes, always, and it’s easier to plant. Nearly all my potted maples are in Square terracotta pots, I prefer thee to round, I think they look better and often when the roots tun round the pot edge and hit a corner, they head vertically down.
    This makes it easy to root trim when planting or re-potting.
     
  21. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Yes, but leave to winter as it’s not against the trunk. Trace it back and cut close to the trunk. It’s easy to remove now, and will cause problems in a few years if not removed.
     

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