What is 'normal' when losing maples

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Gomero, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Kay,
    those are good questions. Let me reassure everybody that grafted cultivars do live longtime, just visit some of those specialised arboreta or private collections either in the States or Europe. I think that in this discussion we are mainly concerned with infant deaths because most of the demises happen in the first 3-4 years. My experience is that you can breathe a sign of relief after 3-4 years in the ground. Potted maples are, in my opinion, more challenging and they will always be at higher risk.
    For established (>3-4 years) maples the main concern, in my opinion, is 'tight bark' (whatever that is). Pseudomonas becomes a 'flu-like' hindrance and even verticilium alboatrum needs not be a life threatening problem. Sudden wilt may always show up but it is rare.

    Thank you everybody for the honest contributions, I think we have all learned from each other.

    Gomero
     
  2. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Thanks so much from the newbie. This is a great thread. If I understand you all correctly I will have a better chance of having my acer survive in a container if:

    1. Purchase as large a speciman as I can find.
    2. Remove it immediately from its pot, give it a bare root wash and repot in new mix, see below (Note we don't have many instances of fungi or bacteria in disease here. Most occurs coming in with transplants)
    3. Soil mix should be 40-50% bark and then tempered with a mix of other mediums suitable for your climate.
    4. Monitor to determine water needs for your climate, then water consistently (note we don't have hot tempuratures here so I don't think tempuratures will be a problem)
    5. Ensure a gradual and protected introduction from dormancy.
    6. Part shade/dappled light works/protect from afternoon sun and wind

    Did I miss anything? Thanks again.

    Les
     
  3. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    Ugh....The deer and wabbits may have claimed my waterfall. A small graft with 4 main branches - the two largest cleanly snipped off leaving two small "branchlets".... Makes 2 out of 8 of the in ground plants. I know that fences would offer the greatest protection, but it would have to be in place for many years before large enough to fight on its own. It could be done but it would take a chunk of aesthetic from some of the prettier parts of the garden/yard. Is deer repellent a hoax??
     
  4. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Thymus. They usually avoid it if they can. Works here as a groundcover around the plants they favor and works with most designs ie. doesn't detract or change your aesthetics as it's so low growing. Bad news is as many have said if the deer are really hungry enough they will eat no matter what you use for companion plants. Sorry not much help but its working here for about 50% of the friends that use it. For those with success its working on both woodys and herbaceous plants.

    Les
     
  5. xman

    xman Active Member

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    Les,

    Your step 2
    "2. Remove it immediately from its pot, give it a bare root wash and repot in new mix,"

    Bare root repotting should be put off till the trees are dormant, it is usually safer then.

    xman
     
  6. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    o thanks xman. When would be the best time: fall or spring? Thanks.
     
  7. davelll

    davelll Member

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    juneau, alaska, usa
    I have switched to growing maples in elevated beds of pure peat, dug from the muskegs or peat beds and piled in 3-5 ft wide, 15-24 inch deep swaths, once I did this the incidence of disease dropped dramaticly, maybe it is the naturally occouring microorganism populations in the soil that help.
    I now have shirasaras, psuedoseiboldianums, japonicas and palmatums growing within a mile of the glaciers. It's 4 degrees today with a 30 mph wind and some of these trees have been here 15 years.
    I think it is the winter water availability that the peat provides that keeps them happy, even when the drying cold and wind make me shrink back inside, the maples in their peat beds look firm and shiny.
    We just had to move our whole collection 10 miles, it required an excavator with a pavement breaker to get the trees out of the frozen ground, and we essentially moved big frozen chunks of peat soil like popsicles, and put them back together with fresh peat dug from below the frost line as mortar. The roots that I could see were firm,white and succulent in their frozen matrix.
     
  8. xman

    xman Active Member

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  9. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Dave,

    Does it get below 0F in Juneau?

    Do you have any pictures of: "shirasaras, psuedoseiboldianums, japonicas and palmatums growing within a mile of the glaciers." or "We just had to move our whole collection 10 miles, it required an excavator with a pavement breaker to get the trees out of the frozen ground, and we essentially moved big frozen chunks of peat soil like popsicles,"

    Good news that maples are thriving in AK!
     
  10. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    dave

    And I thought maples wouldn't live in Alaska, glad you are destroying the myth. I would love to hear more about the various cultivars you have. Customers are always asking me which ones to recommend for zone 4 or 5. You must be zone 1! Sam
     
  11. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I do not share this advice. I never do this. I buy maples from sources I know well and I trust their growing medium. Only if roots are too bound I ease them into a better position. My feeling (although I may be wrong) is that if you go through a bare root wash, the maple will take most of the growing season to recover from that and little real growth will ensue.
    I can understand washing the roots if one mistrusts the supplier and suspects disease.

    Gomero
     
  12. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Thanks Gomero. The supplier I would prefer to use is in California and with distance and border nonsense I'm not sure that the tree will be too healthy when it arrives (if alive). I have such a short growing season I want to start with a large healthy speciman so I will probably be buying retail in person from a nursery in the lower mainland British Columbia that I don't know which is why I thought the root wash was important. I will be asking a few local nurserys to see if they have advice on the shipping but as jm are not recommended here AT ALL I'm pretty sure they will advise me not to try.
     
  13. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    I also do not "bare root wash." My practice is to inspect the soil and roots, prune away any heavy tangles, comb through the roots, removing loose soil and then pot up in fresh mix. Even with a minimum of jostling the plants usually require time to re-establish. A "bare root wash" seems appropriate if you suspect problems or if you have clay root ball.
     
  14. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    hmmm Well one thing I can do is recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy tree roots (although no clue on WHAT the problem is). I guess it's best to decide when re-potting Back to the historical threads to learn more about jm roots......

    Les
     
  15. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I'm with you amazondoc, I am not wanting to water my containers more than every few days, unless it's really hot. I usually plant some annuals in the containers as "canaries" to let me know when I need to water. Right now the mix I am using kind of works for me: 1 part bark, 1 part perlite, 1 part compost, and a bag of Starbucks coffee grounds for a little acid :) and it smells good. I add a couple mycorrhizae tablets when I pot. Also, something we need to mention is the kind of containers they are planted in because I have some in glazed terra cotta, plain terra cotta, cedar boxes, black plastic containers, etc. I have to be careful when watering, plus I'm noticing that there is a wide variation in what different cultivars want/like/need in the amount of water. Does anyone else notice that to be true? For example, I had an A. pictum 'Usugumo' that sat for almost two years until I read somewhere that it likes to be drier. When I transplanted it to a lighter medium it showed substantially more growth. Another example is a small graft I got of A. palmatum 'Ogon Sarasa' which is planted in an open, small cedar box and gets pretty dry between waterings. It looks so good even though it is planted kind of high and has some exposed roots. Then on the other side, I have an A. palm. 'Tsuma gaki' planted in a large cedar box, and last year it accidentally got a little too dry and looked awful (leaves all dried on the edges) the rest of the year.
    Kay
     
  16. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks Kay, I agree watering is as important as the potting mix. My maples in my display gardens get very little human watering, in other words mother nature does it for me. Of course when I transplant or plant a new maple I pay attention the first hot summer. I have a few display maples planted in large, I think fiberglass, containers that are made to look like old terra cotta pots. Again only in the summer do I give them an extra drink. Of course maples in black plastic pots on black earthmat require constant watering. Ever other day if they are in direct sun.

    Also two maples that I know for sure like it drier than most are Geisha and Winter Flame. Sam
     
  17. johnnyjumpup

    johnnyjumpup Active Member

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    Hi Ihuget,
    I wonder if Juneau's coastal climate without huge temperature changes and low elevation (700 ft) is why the JM's do well there. Do they have lots of snow cover? I do know that Calgary is at 3000 feet elev and has very little snow cover and a lot of wind. What might be worse are the temperature changes, especially with the chinooks - minus 29C one day and plus 12C the next. Think keeping the JM in a pot and overwintering in the garage might be the best. I keep a couple of my JM's in pots in the garage over winter. We get minus 25C a few days in winter but the garage usually only goes to a few deg below 0C and they have been fine for years. Have to repot my full moon maple this year. The rest are out in the garden, currently up to their chins in snow.

    I was told that the cutleaf JM's are less hardy that the regular palmate leafed ones. Osakazuki and Bloodgood have been hardy for me here in Z 5, but then so has "Waterfall". I can see they would be susceptible to dessication from the wind.

    If it is in a pot, I think it is worth a try.
     
  18. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement johnnyjumpup. Yes Juneau has a much better climate for jms than Calgary. I learned the hard way that the zone hardiness of a plant can mean very little it here. Its more about moisture and keeping plants from breaking dormancy too early. I think the "Pixie" is my best bet with the container in a black garbage can in the greenhouse from what I'm learned so far. One thing we do get lots of is sunlight and the greenhouse stays 10-15 degrees warmer than the outdoor tempuratures. I will have to move it outside into a cool shade garden during Chinooks and permanently out in April because it will get too hot in there. I think we have the perfect climate here for jms in the summer if protected for wind so if I can just master the wintering over.... Doesn't this sound like alot of work? Ahhhhhh but think of the rewards if I actually get one to winter over and be healthy :)
     
  19. johnnyjumpup

    johnnyjumpup Active Member

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    Hi Ilhuget,

    Yes, I think the rewards are worth the trouble. Also the advantage of having a JM in a pot is that you can feature it somewhere where you can enjoy it up close in every stage, it's silhouette from the unfurling of the buds, to the sunlight shining through the leaves like stained glass and the formation of the little winged seeds. Otherwise it may get lost in the confusion of the garden bed.

    I know elevation is a factor in some plants, climbing roses and hydrangeas for example. Just 12 km but 400 feet lower down the road they thrive.
     
  20. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Yes it will certainly be a feature in my garden. I plan to put in on the main deck beside an arbor covered with ampelopsis brevipendunculata (porcelainberry vine). I think the contrasting foliage will be interesting and the fall colour with the 'Pixie' foliage and berries on the vine should be awesome.
     
  21. Viet922

    Viet922 Member

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    The first year when I first started buying 1 year grafts, I lost 5 out of 7 japanese maples that year. I made the mistake of planting them in the permanent locations.

    After that disaster, I realized that these 1 year grafts are so tender and they have to be planted in a sheltered location. From now on, after receiving these 1 year graft maples, I transfer each one of them into a 5 gallon pot filled with potted mixture and I bury them underground in a protected location. I water them twice a week. I now have a total of 25 japanese males and none has died ever since.

    My tallest tree at the moment is the Oridono nishiki. It's about 7 foot tall and it's very pretty.
     
  22. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Hey Viet, Happy New Year!

    Do you pull the 5 Gals out of the ground to check on the roots? Do you expect that they will root through the bottom of the container?

    Gil
     
  23. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    How deep do you bury them Viet992?

    Les
     
  24. Viet922

    Viet922 Member

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    Happy New Year to you too.

    I forgot to mention that at the bottom of the pot I put a layer of pinebark mulch to make sure the bottom of the pot is dry.
    Yes, in the long run the root system will penentrate through the pot. But at that time they are ready for permanent location.

    I have 5 of them in the permanent location and they are doing great. The upcoming spring, I will move 3 more into their designated locations.

    I bury them about the size of the pot. The top of the pot should have a thick layer of mulch for winter protection.
     
  25. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Usually I do not make a giant transition like 4" to 5 gal. I did do it with 'Oridono nishiki.' It has grown more lushly than any other tree I care for. I think the more vigorous cultivars take advantage of the space because of their robust nature. Same experience with 'Matsugae.'
     

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