REALLY need some advice - JM may be dying

Discussion in 'Maples' started by bhankin, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. bhankin

    bhankin Member

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    I have recently [SEARCH]transplanted a Japanese Maple[/SEARCH] from a house I bought to my current house. I know the time of year isn't right, but I had to save this tree from the bulldozers.

    The transplant was 3 weeks ago. At first it wasn't doing so well and I feared it was a lost cause. I was watering it regularly. Then it rained and all of a sudden the tree sprouted new growth. Now it is not doing so well again.

    I have attached a pic.

    I have read all the previous posts on this topic. I particularly appreciate the insight from Rima and mgh.

    There are no bugs or disease. I suspect that I am either overwatering or underwatering (how can I tell?). I douse it once per day for 5-10 minutes. I also suspect that there is too much light, especially in the late afternoon. The shadier side seems to be doing better than the other. IMG00008[1].jpg

    What can I do, if anything?

    I really appreciate your help. This has become a top priority for me, but I know nothing of gardening.

    B.
     
  2. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    prune a little and use liquid fertilize (if possible dedicate for roots or tranplanted)
    is overwatering if you touch the soil around the trunk and the soil is more wet again
    is under watering if the new leaves are dry ,or the soil around the trunk is more dry,stabilize the umidity with pine bark around the trunk.
    Professional garden man use Juta for bark of the trunk because in tranplanted this have more stress ....
    However if possible repair the maple to sun direct! alex
     
  3. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    It looks like an 8-10 years old. I think the stress is due to be planted in a sunny (and hot?) location and probably it is or the main factor for decaying. I'll try to protect it with some shade cloth ( 50%) for as long the hot weather persists. I don't know what kind of soil you have, but if it's clay; you have to raise it a bit, and ammend the soil with peat moss, and compost. JMs doesn't like heavy soils.
     
  4. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Don't panic just yet! In my experience with JMs in Texas and Virginia, it is very normal for your tree to exibit these signs of stress during a transplant - especially in the heat of August in GA!

    No matter how careful you are digging the transplant, roots are damaged and die, leaving insufficient root mass to support all the existing top growth as it was. It is normal for the plant to defoliate - even entirely. The heat only serves to aggrivate this situation.

    One thing I would recommend is supplementing with liquid seaweed and Superthrive. Douse that poor tree every time you water! I would NOT fertilize now! Your tree needs to recover and feeding it now would only add to its stress. Plus, it is just about time for the tree to begin to shut down for its dormancy. Fertilizing now would encourage foliar growth (stressing your plant) and only serve to weaken the tree when it should be fortifying itself and preparing for rest.

    Do make sure you have terriffic drainage in its new site. Be careful with clay soils as they can kill any maple - even if they are the picture of health when planted. Drainage is key. Don't dig a deep hole in clay to plant your tree - it won't drain and you will only create a cup for it to sit in and drown. (I learned this the hard way.) Build a gently sloping mound on top of your clay (assuming u got it) and fix your maple with humus rich soil with tiny bark chips and Greensand. Then it is almost impossible to overwater! It will be happy and reward you with it's beauty.

    So, don't panic. Treat with seaweed (foliarly before 7 a.m. if you can). Drench with seaweed and Superthrive. Make sure u have good drainage. Resite the tree if you don't.

    Good luck and let us know what happens!
     
  5. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    Wow, fellow Texan! You really have experience with JMs!!
    I used Super thrive and seaweed, occasionally with my JMs. Also I just used a little bit potassium (0-0-3) diluted in a bucket of water during the drought summer (only once) for strength and the JMs responded very well. I was looking for ProTeck (from DynaGro) but here in Houston is very hard to find this brand.
    Like you, I learned to plant them in the hard way, (I'm surrounded by heavy clay-compacted soil); so almost I lost my fist three Sango Kaku. Fortunately I dig out them; fill the holes with soil, and planted them over (exactly as you recommend). Also I installed a underground drainage system using perforated plastic pipes. The conditions in the garden were improved a lot; and now my planted JMs are much happier.

    Nelson
     
  6. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Hey, I am no expert, Nelson, but thank you for the vote of confidence!

    It seems you know what you are doing too - and what dedication! You definitely deserve a pat on the back (and a cooler of icy beverages!) It takes a brave soul to dig in that rock, caliche, and clay "soil" to begin with, but to keep moving trees - thats heart! A lot of folks just yank them and plant another. And the drainage system sounds ideal. Congrats are in order!

    I had trouble finding ProTekt too, until I finally ordered it from MountainMaples.com. Their website is unable to take orders lately (??) but if you do an Internet search for Dyna-Gro ProTekt, you should be able to find it. Try www.plantitearth.com maybe.

    Glad to know ya.
     
  7. bhankin

    bhankin Member

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    Thank you all for the wonderful advice.

    I have used root stimulator and it seems to be hanging in there. Not thriving, but not deteriorating much more.

    I do have clay soil and worry about the drainage as well as the sun. It is not in direct sunlight with the exception of a few hours in the PM on half of the canopy.

    Mostly now I am concerned with whether or not I am watering it enough. I stopped watering it daily because I feared I may be drowning it. The soil at the base is under mulch and is damp, but not wet.

    Please let me know if anyone has any advice on how much I should water it at this point.

    I apologize for such novice questions when everyone else seems to be an expert. I just really want this tree to live.

    Thanks,
     
  8. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    If there is one piece of advice to stress to a new maple lover it is DRAINAGE, DRAINAGE, DRAINAGE! (You mega-professionals correct me if I am wrong, PLEASE!) I know its a great deal of work, but it sounds like you need to dig it out, prepare the site so you don't have to worry about over- or under-watering, and re-plant it. Clay is a HUGE no no with maples and I am sad to say that not preparing its spot in the landscape is often fatal.

    Unfortunately, at this point and in clay soil, the symptoms of over- or under-watering will be very similar.

    I understand the watering question you are asking, and I am sorry I am not giving you the answer you want to hear, but I know all about that clay! Its a killer.

    If you don't have time/energy to do all the soil amending and site prep now, yank that tree out and get it in a pot (no more that twice the size of the rootball). That way you can visually see the water out of the bottom of the pot and can much more easily monitor its needs. Plus, you can put it in a shadier spot while it heals.

    Im sorry I can't just say water more or water less! I know that is your question!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2007
  9. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    hi i have clay soil and i add when planted maple sand of river is good for maple because have silicon that stimolate the growth and for good dreinage,for more informations about this read in (top page) FAQ "How planted maple"No water if the soil remain wet ,you use the finger for touch the soil!if remain a little wet no water ,if is dry water 15 liter(4 gallon) for my experienc every 2/3 days in zone 9, in summer min 23° max 42° alex
     
  10. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    Thanks for your words, Katie.
    Really it was a hard work. However, the most dificult part, was to excavate to remove some "soil amendments" like lumber pieces (rests of the house's frame), bricks, concrete, and a lot of pieces of drywall boards, nails, empy containers, among other things: all rests of house's construction. I had to clear and remove most of this garbage before I could start the beds and drainage. Also, I moved some of the others trees due drainage problems/soggy clay or sun conditions, (sizes 15 to 30 gal). Well, as my wife says: She go to the Gym, and I have my personal "gym" in the backyard.
    Soon I will post some pictures of the garden. Thanks for the link also.
    Nelson
     
  11. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    I understand exactly what you mean about having 'your own gym in the backyard'!

    I can't wait to see pictures of all your hard work!
     

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