When to Move a 3 gal size, and when to pot a seedling?

Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9bFebruary 24, 2013

First time here! Our new home has 2 Japanese Maples. One is very small and has a price tag of $75.00 hanging from it. It's dry and dormant leaves appear shredded, and I think it's called weeping or something like that.

I'd like to move it to a different location. When is the best time to do that? It is currently dormant.

Under the larger Japanese Maple, who's leaves appear much different, are 3 tiny seedlings. I would love to pot them and gift them to friends. How deep to dig and how to keep alive?



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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

OK so no answers! I can deal with that. Found them googling or yahooing, and there is more out there than here. Thanks very much for not responding!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I'm new to this thread and I feel sad that not one of you has responded to this serious question I had.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Hi Suzi,

Unfortunately this forum is rather on the dead side.

Sounds like you found answers to your questions, and I don't know anything about So.CA LowDesert, but I'll give you some general answers, if only because I really don't want you to feel sad.

Small trees and seedlings are easy to transplant. The best time to do it is around the end of winter, soon before they leaf out. Now, and for the next month is the perfect time where I live. If you're seeing budswell on your plants, then transplant them now.

The key to transplanting is to bring along as many of the roots as possible. If the small weeping tree is being transplanted to elsewhere in the yard, do your best to keep the rootball intact, and plant it at the same depth that it's coming from. Have the new planting whole dug in advance to speed up the process and increase your chances of success. Mulch after planting and provide enough water over the summer that the root zone stays moist but not wet.

If you (or your friends) will maintain the seedlings in containers, there are some additional factors to consider. At transplant, ideally you should bareroot them by soaking them in a tub of water and very gently removing the garden soil. Then transplant them into a good container soil. Don't let the roots dry out while you do this. Bagged container soils like Miracle Grow are not good container soils. A good place to learn more about good container soils is in the container plants forum. When you give them to your friends, be sure they know to keep them outside in a sheltered location, and provide water (but not too much) and fertilizer (but not too much). Again, any questions about these points and the container forum is a really good place to learn more.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Patience is a virtue :-) Most posters wait for at least a few days to a week before getting snarky about lack of responses. In the vast majority of this country, most gardeners are still in the middle of a rather brutal winter and questions about Japanese maples (or any other gardening questions for that matter) are not at the top of their to-do list.

Moving Japanese maples anywhere in this country is best done when they are dormant....any time after the leaves fall in autumn and before the new leaves appear in spring. You can move them at other times but you risk transplant shock.

maplegrove's response is very good re: transplanting the seedlings. If still just tiny seedlings, you can leave them in place for another season....they will not get too large to move and the risk is reduced significantly compared to attempting with teeny tiny seedlings.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 5:45PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Thanks for the answers! Sorry for my impatience. Landscapers are ridding the property of everything, we are not keeping and I was afraid they would think of those seedlings as weeds. I need to get them out fast. I'll get the hole dug first prior to digging up the weeping maple, and I'll prepare containers for the babies and cross my fingers. If this year's babies don't work, next year's may, and I can always air layer.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:25AM
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