Newb Japanese Maple Q's

bdobs(8b or 9 SF Bay Area)June 2, 2014

Hi all

My wife and I just recently purchased a couple Tamukeyma Maples, as per my pic I plan on having the half wine barrels as their permanent home. They are on the North side of the house and get very little direct sun in the early morning, just bright shade the rest of the day

I have a few questions regarding moving them to the the large planters. I currently have them sitting on a couple 4x4's in the wine barrels.

Should I wait to transplant them to the barrels? No visible roots at the bottom of their current containers, is it OK to go directly from the Store containers all the way to the Wine barrels? I asked at the nursery about potting soil and was recommended to use 1/2 regular potting mix and 1/2 acid mix.
SHould I amend the soil or anything or just use 1/2 MG and half acid mix? ? I notice that the mix they are currently is extremely quick draining.


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The location of the maple is ideal for them.

It sounds like you won't be disturbing the root, then you should be okay to transfer it to a bigger pot at anytime. It seems like every nursery has their own soil preference. In the end, it shold be quick draining. I'm avoiding product like Miracle Gro soil because they added wet agent to keep the moisture better. You shold look into the Al's Mix 5-1-1 recipe as it's quick draining...

Make sure those barrels have holes on the bottom.

PS, wait for others to chime in as I'm still learning :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 6:50PM
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bdobs(8b or 9 SF Bay Area)

Doing some research I have stumbled upon the AL's Gritty Mix, would this be good for the Maple? DO you need to feed the tree as there is little organic material?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 7:05PM
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Al's Gritty Mix is the ideal mix, but I find myself watering it everyday. And yes, you would need to fertilize them more frequently.

Search for Al's 5-1-1 mix. It holds moisture longer than the gritty mix. Also, some of the ingredient for the Gritty mix is hard to find.

Another option is that I read people suggesting for good drainage.

1. Potting Soil (no miracle grow)...
2. lava rock (small size about 1/4 inch) add 10%
3. pine or orchid bark (small size about 1/4) add 10%

I prefer finding soil that has no "manure" in them.

Again, everyone has their own ingredient.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 8:08PM
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bdobs(8b or 9 SF Bay Area)

So some good quality potting mix plus Bark and lava rock is a good option?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:38PM
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You can substitute lava rock with perlite.

Since you're doing a container, it's recommended to repot every 2 years, depending on the root growth. You may need to do some root pruning if you going to keep the same pot.

If you plant it on the ground, then you don't need to worry about the repotting and root pruning.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:15PM
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bdobs(8b or 9 SF Bay Area)

May888-That is another question I asked whether I should go directly into the large Wine barrels or pot them up to a cheap plastic post that is smaller and would sit inside the wine barrel till a second pot up tot he wine barrel in a year or so?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:22PM
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It's really up to you...

In my opinion, a black plastic pot doesn't look too good for display.

This is what I would probably do since you have the wine barrel already. Keep the plant in that pot and inside the barrel. Get some small mini bark and add it to the gap inside the barrel with them. Cut the top circle of the tree black pot when it touches the dirt inside that pot. And then scatter some of the mini bark around the edge of the black pot to cover it up. And no one will know that you have a pot within a pot :)

Let me show you pic of mine :) I still have the original pot inside the bigger pot.

This post was edited by May888 on Tue, Jun 3, 14 at 13:48

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:37PM
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In a half whiskey barrel, repotting may only be required every five years or so. And in NoCal, I'd look for a Kellogg product - Gardner&Bloome Acid Planting Mix or Master Nursery Acid Planting Mix. This is a great, durable, barky potting soil that maples thrive in. I grow all my containerized trees in this mix and that includes over a dozen JM's.

Personally, I would have no issues about planting from nursery pot to container now.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 2:30PM
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