nailsrglue
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Baby Japanese Maple in Trouble

I bought a one year old Japanese Maple from a nursery that specialized in starter material for bonsai. When I bought it, the leaves were slightly transparent and beginning to turn red. Within the last two weeks, I have re-potted it in its first proper pot and have put on training wire to slightly shape the trunk, but not on the delicate branches. Today the leaves have turned mostly red, with green veins, and are dryed out on the tips. I know there will probably be some die-back from the shock of moving from its environment. I am keeping the soil moist but have not fed it. I live in mid-Texas in a hot environment. The tree gets full sun only early in the morning and full shade the rest of the day. I wanted to know if my maple will pull through the shock on its own, or do I need to change something drastically to promote growth?[color=black][/color][size=18][/size]

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Gnome
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nailsrglue,

Hello and welcome to the site.
Within the last two weeks, I have re-potted it in its first proper pot
I'm wondering what prompted you to re-pot a Maple this time of year? Maples are not general re-potted in mid-summer. One nurseryman that I am aware of suggests slip potting his material since they are shipped in small nursery containers. But a slip potting does not disturb the roots much.

If by "proper pot" you mean a bonsai pot, this was your second mistake. Such young material is not generally put into bonsai pots as this is counterproductive to your goals this early on.
I live in mid-Texas in a hot environment. The tree gets full sun only early in the morning and full shade the rest of the day.
In your environment, and considering the out of season re-potting, I think I would move it to a spot this gets no direct sun. I have some Maple seedlings that I keep in dappled shade all day and my climate is not nearly as harsh as yours. By the way Maple foliage can easily be effected by a harsh environment, don't expect this damaged foliage to recover. You may get a flush of new growth as the weather cools.

Have you researched growing Maples in your area? Will they get the required hours of cold weather in your area?

Norm

ynot
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nailsrglue,

Welcome to the site.
Within the last two weeks, I have re-potted it in its first proper pot
Gnome wrote:I'm wondering what prompted you to re-pot a Maple this time of year?
Me too. This is an inappropriate season to be fussing with maple root systems needlessly, Also what potting media ['soil'] did you use?
Gnome wrote: If by "proper pot" you mean a bonsai pot, this was your second mistake. Such young material is not generally put into bonsai pots as this is counterproductive to your goals this early on.
I agree with this also as a 1YO sapling is by no means ready for a bonsai pot.

Did this require any root pruning to make it fit?
I live in mid-Texas in a hot environment. The tree gets full sun only early in the morning and full shade the rest of the day.
Gnome wrote:In your environment, and considering the out of season re-potting, I think I would move it to a spot this gets no direct sun.
I agree here also, I think you may possibly have a long enough growing season for it to recover [location dependent] but [if so] as noted: The foliage will be replaced - not repaired.
Have you researched growing Maples in your area? Will they get the required hours of cold weather in your area?
These are extremely relevant questions to consider IMO.

Good luck

ynot

nailsrglue
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I'm sorry, I did not realise you shouldnt re-pot in mid summer. I am new to this. I have tried researching the tree for my climate and am having little luck, which is why I came here. I was hoping to get some advice and tips from people who are alittle more experienced. I've only had one tree for the last three years, and I was just trying something new out. My Ficus is triving in a potting soil mix in the hot and dry weather. I realise the maple is a very different type of tree and I need some advise to help my tree survive. The tree is planted in a 16" long, 6" deep clay pot. It has a drainage layer of natural fish rocks and the soil is a 50% mix of the same rocks and garden potting mix soil. Despite the conditions of the tree now, what advice can you give me that will help save my tree? should I feed it or wait several weeks? Will it do better in full shade for the time being? Should I continue misting the leaves or water the plant more? If the leaves start falling off, can I expect it to come back soon or will it die? The tree has never been trained or even tampered with so im not worried about the current foliage, a new set may be better to work with anyway.

Im only asking for the best advice I can get for a tree I've never dealt with before.

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nailsrglue,
I'm sorry, I did not realise you shouldnt re-pot in mid summer. I am new to this. I have tried researching the tree for my climate and am having little luck,
No need to apologize, we've all made blunders before and will again.
The tree is planted in a 16" long, 6" deep clay pot.
This is another aspect that is less than ideal. Such a large pot for such a, presumably, small tree means that the soil will have a tendency to stay wet for a longer period of time than if it were potted in a more appropriately sized container. Then again in your climate I'm sure it will dry quicker than in mine. For future reference, young plants are generally potted up incrementally, not up to such a large pot all at once.
the soil is a 50% mix of the same rocks and garden potting mix soil.
General garden center type potting soil is, in my opinion, to be avoided. This type of material, which usually contains a lot of peat, really holds a lot of water and if allowed to dry out can be difficult to re-wet. The combination of products you have chosen will allow the soil to filter between the gravel and drainage will be impeded. A better scenario is one where all components of your soil are approximately the same size. I use various inorganic materials and pine bark in varying ratios. These material are always sized with a set of screens to exclude particles that are too fine or too coarse.
Despite the conditions of the tree now, what advice can you give me that will help save my tree? should I feed it or wait several weeks?
Hold off on the fertilizer at least until you see some fresh growth.
Will it do better in full shade for the time being?
I believe I already addressed this. Dappled shade, under a larger tree, would be appropriate.
Should I continue misting the leaves or water the plant more?
The misting won't hurt but may not help a whole lot either. The hot, dry (correct me if I'm wrong) air will evaporate the moisture quickly.

Do not water excessively. The roots have been disturbed, the soil is heavy and water retentive and the pot is too large. All of these things suggest, as always, judicious watering. Your climate is different than mine so you need to make your own decisions but the soil should not be constantly wet.
The tree has never been trained or even tampered with so im not worried about the current foliage, a new set may be better to work with anyway.
Don't do anything for the balance of this year except to help ensure its recovery.
Im only asking for the best advice I can get for a tree I've never dealt with before.
In the future research a tree you are considering before you purchase it. Japanese Maples will need a period of cold weather to complete their required dormancy. Do you get temperatures below 40f? If so, for how long?

Norm

nailsrglue
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I made some changes. I put half a chopstick into the soil to check for moisture needs and have cut back on watering drastically. In the shade it does not dry out quickly, and the soil holds a lot of water. I also mist the leaves two to three times a day.

Today my baby looks tons better. The leaves dried out tips are receding and they look full and healthy. They are all still mostly red, but no sign of leaves dropping. I found some leaves that had black spots which oculd indicate fungus or disease, so I pruned these leaves off. I also took away any leaves that were transparent. All of the remaining leaves seem to be flourishing now.

I'm assuming I shouldn't do anything more to the tree until I'm sure its settled into the pot and growing, right?

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nailsrglue,

I'm glad to hear that your tree is coming around.
I'm assuming I shouldn't do anything more to the tree until I'm sure its settled into the pot and growing, right?
Correct, with the stress of an out of season re-potting you should concentrate on helping the plant regain its strength.

Thanks for helping with the "housekeeping".

Norm

dgaunt
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Hi Nails, I have a full size Japanese Maple in my front yard, (and I live in Oklahoma, so closer to your Zone). I have found that although in our area, it does fine without to much watering, if it gets too much direct sunlight and is too hot, the leaves will wither and die. The leaves are always red (except when new) and I believe it to be a bloodgood, but am unsure. Anyway, the tree has been growing in the shaded nook for over 10 years, and despite simi-regular occurances of leaf singeing, it still trives well. It is a truely beautiful tree, and worth the effort.

On a side note, the tree buds new "tree" growth from its roots. I have, with some sucess, taken one of these buds (and some of the original root) and potted it for bonsai purposes. It's been in pot since spring and seems to be thriving well (in a potting soil of Peralite and peat moss(90/10)). I have several other root growths, that are far from the original tree, that I am considering trying to extract as well, (I doubt they will live where they are trying to grow anyway, to much sunlight in the area). If I take them out in fall, when the tree starts it's dormancy period, will it be ok? Also, since it's growing off the older roots of the parent tree, the roots are very thick, how much should I try to recover to give the new sapling a fighting chance?

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dgaunt,

Sometimes "named" Japanese Maples are grafted onto seedling rootstock. If this is the case this means that your cuttings will not exhibit the same characteristics as the tree on top of the graft.

Since they are suckers from large roots you will probably have to treat them as cuttings. You may be better of taking cuttings or layers from the top of the mature tree. This way you are certain to retain the desired characteristics.

Norm

dgaunt
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I'm not sure it is a bloodgood, the leaf patterns and colors match tho, this Tree was already established by my front door before I lived here. However, I had not considered the option that it might be a grafted tree, I will spend some time checking for the tell-tale signs of grafting, I had already been considering taking some clippings from the top, it just seems to me to be alot longer to establish the root (I could be wrong tho).

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dgaunt,

Why not look around the tree and locate a good section to air layer. This produces a more mature specimen in much less time. Another advantage is that you get to choose an attractive branch.

[url]https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/airlayer.htm[/url]

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATLayering.html[/url]

[url]https://www.afn.org/~bonsai/airlayer.html[/url]

Norm

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