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I recommend using a slow or controlled release type fertilizer. Commercially known as Polyon or Osmocote, these are the most common and both work very well on Japanese maples. We use both successfully in our Japanese maple production.
Fertilizer. Japanese maples should only be fertilized after they’re a year old, or during the second growing season. The best time to fertilize is late winter or early spring. Japanese maples are naturally slow-growing trees, so stimulating rapid growth with a high-nitrogen fertilizer should be avoided.
The best fertilizer for maple trees is one that is rich in nitrogen. You can find the ratio of the nutrients listed on the fertilizer label of a respective fertilizer. You should never use a quick-release fertilizer, but use a slow-release fertilizer such as 10-4-6 and 16-4-8.
Your Japanese maple may be dying from root rot, or “wet feet.” Amend the soil by digging in one part peat and one part sand to one part topsoil until the soil drains well when you pour water on it. Cultivate the soil with a garden spade to keep it loose and aerated.
Epsom salts also appear to help Japanese maples struggling through the summer season. … A few tablespoons of Epsom salts to a gallon of water used as a drench helps reduce lime buildup and lowers alkalinity and the salt levels of our soil. Whatever you do, be sure to buy the cheap stuff.
Soil and water are the two most important factors for maintaining healthy Japanese maples. … So maintain a humus-rich soil by applying coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are free at Starbucks. For a 4-foot-tall Japanese maple, I recommend applying 4 pounds of coffee grounds per tree per season.
Plan to water heavily twice a week during normal weather and three or even four times weekly in periods of drought. Whether your tree is young or mature, it will grow best in soil kept consistently moist by regular watering and mulching.
- Keep them moist – don’t forget to keep the soil damp, with mulch and regular watering.
- Give them afternoon shade – when planting your tree, arrange for afternoon shade in summer.
- Choose a suitable variety – some forms resist burning better than others.
Chicken fertilizer is desirable for its nitrogen, but it also contains a good amount of potassium and phosphorus, but use it in moderation. Chicken manure can be used after four to six weeks, but you should wait six months with the other animals.
Verticillium Wilt This dangerous fungus routinely kills maple trees. Commonly known as maple wilt, verticillium wilt begins at the root system and affects the entire tree. From cankers and dieback to seemingly scorched leaves and diseased branches, this fungus can cause disastrous effects.
Maple trees require around 11 gallons of water a week to stay healthy. Keep an eye out for wilting or leaf scorch (leaves browning and/or curling up), as this is a sign of drought stress. … Make sure that the water is reaching at least 10 inches below the surface, properly hydrating the maple tree’s root system.
- Identify the Problem. After ascertaining that the tree is dying, it is now time to do a pre-autopsy and identify the cause. …
- Change Your Tree Watering Habits. Adjusting your tree watering schedules can save your tree. …
- Control Your Fertilizer Usage. …
- Pruning. …
- Mulching. …
- Control Pests and Diseases.
Japanese maples lose their leaves every fall, so they will appear to be dead until spring when new growth appears. If the tree is still leafless in June after several weeks of spring, it is most likely dead and can be removed.
- Cut back the diseased and dying limbs to live wood, a main branch or the trunk of the tree.
- Do not pile excess soil over the root base of the tree because the roots should remain naturally close to the soil surface.
Having soil that is constantly over saturated with water will suffocate the roots from air and can cause the roots to rot. Young plants are very prone to root rot and mildew due to excessive water. As long as the soil allows good drainage and is well aerated, overwatering Maples is usually not a concern.
Japanese maples grow best when planted in well-drained, acidic soil that is high in organic matter. While they can be grown in poor soil, their growth rate is much slower and trees are more likely to experience stress.
Maple Trees in the Landscape Many Japanese maple trees have red leaves all year. This characteristic is due to high levels of anthocyanins in the leaves throughout the year. The higher levels of the pigment show through the chlorophyll even during spring and summer.
Although most commonly propagated from seeds and grafts, Japanese maples also grow reliably well from softwood cuttings gathered in summer. The cuttings require moderately strong hormones and the appropriate medium to successfully root, but it is an otherwise fast and simple process with a high rate of success.
Mulching is always a good idea for fall; it will help insulate the roots for winter and protect their early spring growth. Winter care of your Japanese Maples: … Mulch with about 3″ of shredded hard bark, keeping it a few inches away from the trunk to allow air to circulate.
All Japanese maples are tolerant of part shade conditions. Like Dogwoods and Redbuds, they evolved to grow happily at the edge of the forest as small trees. Their undeniable beauty leads many people to want to plant them as a focal point or specimen tree, often in full sun.
A. Avoid the eggshells in your compost, but coffee grounds, fruit peels and other leafy material will not attract rodents. Rats are common everywhere people are.
- Keep plants moist and in the shade until planting.
- Soil preparation with organic matter is important, especially if the soil is heavy clay.
- Mulch with 6 inches after planting to reduce the need for frequent watering and protection of their shallow roots.
- Keep pruning of newly planted trees to a minimum.
Japanese Maples have a reputation for being difficult to grow, but while they have needs that need to be attended to for best growth and color, they are a tough and adaptable plant. There are more varieties than one could count, from dwarf maples for containers to upright trees worthy of a focal point in your garden.
Maples should be fertilized once or twice a year. However, not just any fertilizer will do. … In particular, fertilizers that release large amounts of Nitrogen quickly into the soil can encourage structurally weak growth that could cause problems.
Both are some of the best resources of nutrients for organic crop farmers, making it easier to earn and maintain your organic certification. They both also increase your soil’s water retention. However, cow manure is typically more expensive and contains fewer nutrients than chicken manure.
Chicken litter is high in nitrogen, and can be composted in about five to six weeks. Composting “cools” the manure and litter material, meaning it reduces the ammonia content so it will no longer burn plants. … A well-managed compost pile should have an “earthy” smell, like good potting soil.
- Collect manure and bedding. …
- Carbon to Nitrogen balance. …
- Use a “hot compost” recipe. …
- Repeat the heating process. …
- Let it cure. …
- Add to garden. …
- Composting challenges.
The most common Japanese maple diseases are caused by fungal infection. … A mild case of canker will resolve itself, but heavy infection will kill the tree. Verticillium wilt is another common Japanese maple disease. It is a soil dwelling fungus with symptoms that include yellowing leaves that fall prematurely.
Japanese maple is susceptible to a number of leaf spot diseases that may disfigure leaves and cause early defoliation. The major foliar diseases are anthracnose, Phyllosticta leaf spot and Pseudomonas tip blight. There are several insects that may attack Japanese maples. Leaf feeders include the Japanese beetle.
A tree with no leaves can be attributed to bud issues. … Suspect disease when there are no buds at all. Verticillium wilt, caused by a fungus, is common in maples and can be diagnosed if the wood is streaked. Unfortunately, there are no controls for this problem.
They will grow in most soils except very dry, waterlogged or alkaline conditions. A moist yet well-drained, slightly acidic loam rich in organic matter is ideal. Other soils can be enriched with ericaceous compost when planting.
Maple trees prefer moist soil, and some species tolerate the very wet soil that’s found in wet bottomlands, river flood plains and damp forests. … The wet soil tolerance of the maple trees allows them to grow well when planted in a lawn that is frequently watered.
Japanese maple is highly susceptible to leaf scorch, a noninfectious condition that results in dead areas around the leaf margins or between the leaf veins. Scorch is most commonly caused by weather factors such as hot, drying winds, excessive sunlight and high temperatures.
Underwatering, overwatering, poor soil, or low light are the main reasons why maple not growing. To revive a maple, water it when the soil around it is 1-2 inches dry and give it at least 6 hours of direct sun.
If the roots of the tree are dead, nothing will save it. If there are salvageable areas it is possible for a maple tree to regrow branches of leaves. The professional will be able to do what has to be done to get this tree on the road to recovery.
If the tree roots are dead, there is no way for the tree to recover. Maples can regrow leaves or branches, but not if the roots are no longer providing it with nutrients from the soil.
Japanese Maples are best transplanted when they’re dormant, which means fall. When digging up the tree, be careful of the roots. A rule of thumb is if the trunk is 2″ in diameter, dig at least 9″ from the truck all around.
The dying branches could be caused by a girdling root. Work with an arborist to use an air spade to remove the soil around the base of the tree to look for a girdling root. … Another potential cause of dying branches: phytophthora root rot. This widespread soil pathogen causes problems among landscape plants.
Maples that are declining may have paler, smaller and few leaves than in previous years. Maple dieback includes symptoms such as dead twigs or branch tips and dead areas in the canopy. Leaves that change to fall colors before the end of summer are a sure indication of decline.