Ukigumo leaf burn after planting

amy_pnw(8 Oregon)May 20, 2007

I love my 'Ukigumo.' It has been potted for the last 7+ years and done very well. Well, we moved about 5 miles away and I decided to give it a more permanent home.

Since planting in the ground this spring the upper small branches and a few of the side branches have much smaller leaves that look burned. The tree is sited with only a little more sun than it was getting and it still gets good afternoon shade.

It is in a bed that may have much less drainage than it is used to since it is fairly heavy clay. I amended the bed and raised it 3-6 inches with well composted steer manure, gypsum and regular planting compost before I planted it. The root ball on this 9 ft Ukigumo is fairly large so I am hoping that there is not a big concentration of any one ammendment affecting the roots. I root pruned a little since the roots were peeking out of the bottom of pot.

I am trying to decided whether to wait this one out and see how it does by next year or whether to rethink something I am doing now. Maybe it just needs a little sulk period.

All the other Japanese maples I moved and planted seem to be doing just fine. Yes, I dug a couple, brought them to the new house and planted after leaf drop last fall. I also planted a newly purchased 'Sumi nagashi' this spring.

I worry a little since I lost an 'Ukigumo' in the past 2 years after it was planted. My guess at the time was Verticillium wilt. But perhaps I was never meant to have an 'Ukigumo' in the ground.


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Did or do you typically plant you maples the same way as you did the Ukigumo? If they are doing fine then it might be okay, but I would not typically use that sort of amendment with a japanese maple, especially the steer manure, but in small amounts it can be fine.

My concern would be your heavily amended soil in or above the clay which will not drain well as you pointed out and possible burn the roots from amending or remain too wet and cause a rot. Then again, Ukigumo is subject to leaf burn after planting. I just cleared away a big overhang of photinia from my Ukigumo and withing a few days, even at 80F the previously shaded leaves were burned.

You many want to inspect the planting site or you may want to wait it out. A big rootball is always to your benefit in this situation. Stunted top growth, in and of itself, is nothing to be concerned about and is common in many maples for a number of reasons.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 1:21PM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

I agree with MJ ...and I don't think the amendments were ideal for a maple that is a bit touchy...I often wonder about ponding of water under the amendments ..but if you got crappy soil you really have no choice ..I would say I DON'T think that has much to do with your leaf burn ...although I guess the high nitro could cause it..I think it is likely just the transpantation process...I don't think you say how much sun it gets ...even a tree use to a certain amount of sun in a pot may crisp up if put in the same amount of sun when planted out from stress. I would guess it will be fine and would leave it.. the stress of repotting now may be worse than just seeing what happens..Btw I often get crisped leaves after planting out especially in sun or part sun areas...the most often shoot out new ones once the old crispy ones are removed. that all being said I would feel awfukl if you took my advise and it kaputted so the decision is yours..David

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 1:48PM
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I'd have to agree with David and say to hold this one out at least until fall. You may want to prune back a few of the outlying limbs to decrease the surface area that the tree is trying to cool via transpiration. I would wait until the new shoots have hardened off a bit though. This may be a bad idea now, but that is what I would do if it got any worse.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 5:37PM
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amy_pnw(8 Oregon)

Thanks all. Yes, I have done this much amending before. It is coincidental since both beds were quite large and the maples were part of the plantings. Normally I wouldn't give planting a maple that much attention but both times I completely amended hard clay beds. The previous maple did fabulously. I think there may be a little more water in this new bed so I am going to water as minimally as possible for a new tree planting.

I am going to wait and see. I don't like the idea of trying to lift a tree right now. I also like the thought of some pruning as needed so that may be in the tree's future.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 12:21AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you dig a bunch of stuff into clay (or any other soil) after it rots you are back with just the soil. Not a problem with frequently re-worked vegetable beds but maples are supposed to be there awhile - long after amendments disappear.

If the existing soil is really not suitable for a particular plant of long duration you have to replace the soil or put different soil on top and plant in that.

'Ukigumo' doesn't seem to me to be a sun-tolerant variety anyway, I would plant it where it gets some shade. The palest portions seem quite apt to fry.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:44PM
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amy_pnw(8 Oregon)

Encouragingly the maple is putting out new shoots where the leaves were burned. I have this sited for early afternoon and evening shade but the tree is so tall that it takes longer for the top to get enough shade. I checked it out and the top doesn't get completely shaded until 2 pm sun time. This is probably the best place in the garden for it for shade so I am hoping it will acclimate. It got a little earlier shade at the other house.

I agree bboy about the clay beds. However I had really good success with the last one I dug and amended 7 years ago. I sold the house this spring with that bed but the bed still has wonderful soft soil that the plants are loving. I added compost over the top of the bed almost yearly so I am sure that helps. And I will place compost on the top of this one. I top with about 3-6 inches of compost a year for weed control and soil structure. I had one clay bed at the same house that was impossible so I just raised it with one to one and a half feet of compost sitting on top of the clay. The plants loved that bed.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 5:29PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Most Japanese maples should live longer than 7 years.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 10:31PM
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