'Autumn Blaze' Maple Budding On Trunk, Branches Dormant
By way of introduction I should say that I'm almost completely inexperienced in matters of flora and my knowledge comes almost exclusively from my mother-in-law or the internet. Both offer tons of answers; neither, it seems, are that reliable.
I recently bought an 'Autumn Blaze' maple ( a hybrid acer x freemanii) to plant in our backyard. I was assured that our zone, soil type and sun exposure would be acceptable. A silver maple had thrived within 15 feet of my intended location for over 80 years (it was dying and was helped along by a hurricane).
I planted the tree - around 7 feet tall at the time - as instructed by the nursery and a local gardening enthusiast. This was in early October. The tree quickly dropped its 7 or 8 leaves, but as it was a recent planting and late in the season I didn't think it cause for concern. Come Spring the tress in the neighbor's yards started to bloom and mine remained dormant.I was told that new plantings can be slow to bloom and to be patient. Several weeks later still no action, so I called the botanic garden's help line. They suggested the plant might have spent too lonmg in a grower pot and the roots could be 'potbound'. This turned out to be the case. After gently breaking up the rootball and replanting, mulching and daily watering the tree is a riot of life but only on the trunk. It started budding immediately along the trunk and now has many leaf-bearing small branches that look quite healthy. Above the crotch the branches remain pliable and colorful, but the buds remain dormant.
I'm told that the sprouts along the trunk are stealing nutrient from the upper branches, but I'm reluctant to prune. Anybody have any thoughts on this situation? I'd like to reiterate here that I am a complete ignoramus when it comes to these matters, so if I've done something stupid please bear with me and know that my intentions were good!