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Tue Aug 14, 2018, 03:16 PM

Dwarf Japanese Maple help requested

We had a nice Dwarf Japanese Maple in front of our house for about 14 years. It was damaged 3 years ago when a large pine came down in an ice storm and broke the top. We trimmed it back slightly and it seemed to be getting better. This spring, it didn't come back. No leaves, all dead. Was about to cut it out, but saw some life around the trunk. Can anything save it or is it too late.

Overall view


Close up of trunk

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Reply Dwarf Japanese Maple help requested (Original post)
FSogol Aug 2018 OP
fleur-de-lisa Aug 2018 #1
FSogol Aug 2018 #2
iamateacher Aug 2018 #3
FSogol Aug 2018 #4
elleng Aug 2018 #5
Botany Aug 2018 #6

Response to FSogol (Original post)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 03:31 PM

1. Scrape some of the larger limbs with your fingernail or a knife (just a small abrasion).

If the limb is green where you have cut, that limb is alive.

Sometimes I can tell just by cupping a limb in my hand. If it feels warm, it is probably still alive. I have worked with plants for a long time, so this is pretty easy for me. If you are new to it, maybe not so easy.

You may need to do a major pruning job once you have determined which limbs are still viable. I don't know where you are, but take a look at this website for info about when and how to prune:

https://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2009/01/how_to_prune_a_japanese_maple.html

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 03:37 PM

2. Northern VA. We usually gave it a light trim in the fall after the leaves drop. We can probably do

it now since our really hot weather has passed.

Thanks for the link.

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 03:40 PM

3. My go to site for all garden questions

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Response to iamateacher (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 03:50 PM

4. Yup, they had my exact question:

Peter from Doylestown, PA planted a Japanese maple that is truly struggling. This tree has had the top and one side removed by natural causes and there is only a stump left with a few pieces of growth. Mike says Peterís tree is dead, unfortunately, even if it has a few green sprouts sticking out. Mike tells Peter to ditch his dead tree and suggests digging it up and removing the whole thing. Then be on the lookout for nursery fall sales to get a new Japanese Maple. Fall is the best time to plant; spring is the second best, Mike informs Peter. Unfortunately, his old Japanese maple is a goner, but a new one will await him at his local nursery!


https://whyy.org/episodes/how-should-schools-deal-with-weeds-2/

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 04:09 PM

5. Thanks for reminding me of our great ones, FS.

A couple in DC, including one that looked like yours, umbrella-like, splendid, and another upright. I think they passed, while I left the house (NOT because!)

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Response to FSogol (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 09:09 PM

6. It is toast

What you are seeing is sprouts that are coming up from the root stock.* The top part that gave the growth and leaves that you liked is dead.

My suggestion is to replace it with a native plant but if you as want a Japanese maple get one that is grown locally. The majority of Japanese males are started in Oregon and struggle when moved as part of the nursery/landscape industry.




* it is a grafted tree.

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