Fire damaged Japanese maple

monkeyjuiceApril 16, 2010

Hey everyone..

My FIL had a fire that damaged most of his property including some outdoor property. Part of that it was a recently potted 5yr old Japanese maple. What I'm assuming to be it's trunk or main stalk was damaged. It seems that most of its branches came out untouched. We left the tree alone, unsure of what to do w/it. So, after a very hard winter here in Western NC, leaves are budding on the untouched branches. Should we do anything to the trunk/stalk? It sticks out in the middle of the tree as if it was a left over post. I don't want to injure the plant any further as I am not educated on the ways of these trees and claim no knowledge of them. I can take pictures of it if necessary. Please let me know as I would love for this tree to survive. Thx!

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

monkey, are you saying the main trunk of the tree has a bend in it that sticks outside of leaves?

A picture is worth 1000 words for a fella like myself who doesn't communicate well. Photobucket.com is my favorite hosting site.

If its leafing out as well as years past I probably wouldn't do much myself. Maybe look at the trunk and see if the side closest to the heat of the fire did anything weird like split or crack. Even if it did pulling away all the damaged bark isn't always easy.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 4:43PM
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monkeyjuice

I completely understand as I a visual person myself. Here are some pictures for you guys to review. I apologize if they are slow as they are large photos.

Here is the top of the tree so you can see the damage: http://tinyurl.com/y3fzxmk

The damage to the bark and the new growth: http://tinyurl.com/y73s2gm

And, the new growth from the base of the tree:
http://tinyurl.com/y36rqb5

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 5:30PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Ah yes. That looks like an amazingly sharp die back line in the second picture.

Let me say I love the leaf coloration on your tree. Do you know what cultivar it is?

All the new growth must be a sign the pot didn't cook enough to damage the roots.....

It looks to me like the "branches" sprouting up from the base of the trunk have the same leaves as the tallest live remaining portion of the tree. Is this correct?

If any are significantly different I'd probably snip them off assuming it was understock of a grafted tree sprouting.

Oh, and I'd probably wimp out and make a sharp pruning cut about an inch over the change in the bark in the center of the second picture.

Wait for the experts to agree or disagree with me. I'm relatively new to this maple thing in particular.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 12:57AM
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monkeyjuice

I agree the leaf coloration is beautiful.. Unfortunately, my father in law, passed away but a few mths after the fire and I have no idea. I'd love to know as well.

Yes, they are sprouting from the bottom and some of the branches from the bottom have grown taller then the stalk.

I agree, and on your advise, I may prune the stalk as suggested.

Thank you for all the information :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 7:53PM
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