Wow! Growth-spurt on my Purple Ghost....

Discussion in 'Maples' started by McHoop, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. McHoop

    McHoop Member

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    I have what I believe to be a three year old Purple Ghost which has been in the ground for just over a year. It's been doing well. However, up to now it hasn't put on a lot of growth. Boy, did that just change in a heartbeat! About a week ago, I noticed in about three to four areas, new foliage emerging. Over the next few days the leaves uncurled in a normal manner. That's when the spurt started.

    I went out this afternoon after work and was astounded to see significant new growth in the terminal ends of the stems where the new foliage had emerged. I'm talking around three inches. This may sound like gross exaggeration but I'm sure this growth happened within 24-36 hours.

    Is this normal for a Japanese Maple to have growth spurts such as this? I might mention I gave the tree (and others) a dose of Japanese Maple fertilizer about five days ago. Would the fertilization have such a quick impact?

    McHoop
     
  2. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    yes ,for me the fertilize have this effect ,but this is not good ,because the branch born is delicate and is possible that wind crack this new branch,use one stake like bamboo stick..after moderate fertilize!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  3. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    tutor=stake :)
     
  4. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    tanks Sam! tutore is an italian word..;))
    ciao
     
  5. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I love your occasional Italian, Alex! Keep throwing those words in and we'll all become fluent, eventually!

    Ciao!
     
  6. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    McHoop,

    Be careful with the fertilizer this late in the season. The new growth needs time to harden off before freezing weather. If you have tender branches by first frost, I would suggest protecting the plant for a few weeks to allow it time to go dormant properly.
     
  7. McHoop

    McHoop Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I thought the rule of thumb was to fertilize only twice a year; once in spring and then early fall. Wrong? The fertilizer I'm using is Peace Of Mind(Fox Farms) which is organic and very low in nitrogen.

    McHoop
     
  8. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Alex is actually very clever with his use of english words
    A 'tutor' in english is someone who trains students etc.
    What Alex was suggesting was a method of 'training' the longer growth and supporting it until it would strengthen by itself
    The Italian word 'tutore' is obviously connected :)
     
  9. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Regarding three year old maples (and most perennial plants too)... The first year they sleep, the second they creep, the third year they leap!

    I am not surprised to hear of your 'Purple Ghost' growth spurt. The FoxFarm product for maples is great - and fall is a great time to add beneficial microbes - mycorrhizae, so I don't think there is any problem. The Peace of Mind fertilizer you mentioned is only a 4-8-5 NPK ratio, so they aren't responding to excess nitrogen. I think the FoxFarm stuff is a great fall fert. The box actually says its mild enough to add it monthly, but that seems excessive to me! I use it when I am potting, and then twice a year, at bud break and just prior to this late summer spurt to support root growth in prep for fall.

    My trees are also showing new growth - a couple of them as much as three or four inches, but they have put this on over the last 10 days or so. It has started to cool a bit here after weeks of 95+ degrees and 80% humidity (during which I had zero JM growth), so the trees are relieved and energized by the cooler temps. It is not unusual to see this late summer growth at all. Several professional growers I know choose to re-pot their maples in mid summer - just because they will have this late growth.

    So, unless you have an unusual cold snap before the new growth has a chance to harden off a bit, you and your 'Purple Ghost' are sitting pretty!

    Yay maples!
     
  10. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    McHoop,

    I agree with Katie. What you're adding is very mild and is OK for this time of year. The high nitro stuff is a no-no, however. You should be in good shape.
     
  11. spookiejenkins

    spookiejenkins Active Member

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    Thanks for backing me up, Kaitain. It can get rough in here sometimes. :)
     
  12. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Nothin' a Texas Wrangler and a Tennessee Hillbilly can't handle! :D

    And I have done what you mentioned - repotted all my JMs mid summer. All of them have had or are in the middle of a second growth spurt. A lot of maple grafters swear that the summer grafts turn out better than the winter grafts because they time the grafting around this second wave of growth, which allows the new graft to store up a lot of food in its tissues for the winter months. Much more likely to survive the first winter.

    Thanks,
     

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