paperbark maple

greyandamySeptember 21, 2012

I (as mentioned in other posts) have serious soil issues at present that need time, time, energy, money to correct... I moved a paperbark I purchased eary in spring to a pot, I was afraid I had planted it too deep and it was in a prime spot for rotting... it seemed to accept it's repot and root pruning (girdled!) okay, now i worry about overwatering vs under.. I put some vermiculite in potting soil for drainage and hope that doesn't interfere...

I know it's slow growing (though it's pretty tall looking in it's pot)... I know it takes clay, I know it's susceptible to root rot which has predominated my yard.. (soil issues)...

Eventually they get big, but what about roots? Is it at all possible to constract some type of raised thing to keep it's roots away from old sources of phythoria which seems to swim through the soil (well drained or not)... ? I'm afraid a tree that does EVENTUALLY get 20 feet does eventually get roots that aren't that shallow...

I don't grow things well in containers all the time, just wondering??


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Sure you can grow this in a raised bed, just like you can grow most anything else in a raised or mounded bed. Soil depth is much less of an issue than you suspect. Plant roots tend to grow laterally, not vertically, so room to spread is much more critical than depth. And most plants carry the bulk of their root system very shallowly, within the first few inches of the soil level. Even very large trees have the majority of their root system in the first 12-15" of soil and with the fine feeder roots located just below the soil surface.

With respect to disease issues, with the exception of verticillium or armillaria, soil pathogens tend not be persistant in the soil. The various forms of phytophthora (is that what you meant?) are water molds as are most other soil fungal pathogens and move through the soil. And drainage IS an issue with these pathogens - water-logged or overly saturated soils are much more inclined to produce root rots than soils that drain freely.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:14PM
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thanks garden gal.. They keep telling me (they want to scare me) the stupid molds lie in the soil forever and just wait for right conditions, and then they go on to further scare by saying they can travel on shoes, hoses, splashing.. I guess these people want to be dramatic, to see my reaction... THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST, one issue down, though she still may need to be in a pot till spring... I like her little strange rootlike things, like feet, though I think the real roots are underneath that...I'm waiting to see if she'll have any fall color

They aren't drought tolerant, I know, and they take clay, but being as they are suscepble to root rot (WHAT ISNT), I think I may have some work to do.. I did want her on a slope where water collects at top and drains, they say not to plant where water can flood off sidewalk... then I though where there's power lines 12 feet up, but slow growing as she is (and soil needs help), that won't work, as width is only about 12 feet too. In the back, where I Wanted her, that's where the flooding occurs down retaining wall, unless I planted her in and up... other side, same issues, potential flooding and all trees there died of one issue or another (junipers, etc).. and now the soil is too wet

It keeps me thinking, and kinda nuts..


    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:44PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

First, DON'T PANIC!!! Next, I can tell you that all those things you read are absolutely true, BUT it is not all of the story. Are you aware that you encounter MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of human pathogens EVERY DAY? Do you get sick from all these? Are you aware that you encounter millions of Yersinia pestis organisms every day, and don't get sick? BTW, that is the organism that causes plague aka Black Death of the middle ages. You know why you don't get these diseases? Cause your resistance is high. So just because a organism is present, doesn't meant that it will kill you, your plant, your pet etc. That's not to say you are absolutely immune, but both you and your plants have been dealing with potential disease organisms for as long as they and you have been around. None of this is to scare you. Just to say, if you have healthy plants, then most of the time they will remain healthy. We have clay soil as well, and we have two paperbarks, two sugar maple, a dogwood, etc. Clay does not mean death to plants in most cases. With said, if you clay stays soft and muddy and/or standing water for days, then you will need to find more wet tolerant plants. But you also want to make sure they aren't flooded by a stream or ditch. But, I doubt this is the case. What you need to do is plant on a mound, and this will help drainage until such time as your tree grows roots to the depth they need to be. I actually plant ours with about 1/2 of the rootball above the original grade on about a 4' wide mound. This has worked VERY WELL for us.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:44PM
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I always enjoy your posts/tree love. Too tired now to panic as much...
Yes, I know about millions of pathogens, my immune system is so comprised I typically can't go out. (sorrry, i'm bad one to ask *smile*) about immune system)....again, smile..

I know the forest is like that, it cleans itself. And every sitution is different, some can plant a literal forest and have every tree thrive in the worst possible conditions with the trees completely, "as per some info" unsuited...

yes, as you wisely pointed out, some dramatics like to scare you about the splashing, etc... and look at all the contaminates even the best nurseries have, despite "guards"...i'm learning...

The plants take amazing amounts of ABUSE, and roots constantly regenerate.. my issue is not the clay but I overammended and didn't mix in deep enough and the water holding (peat?) or vermiculite?? or gypsum?? or something,,along with my years of adding compost (though there's not the problem) has created a bog, bog bog deep onn the clay.. the bog doesn't dry really, and then, straw and stuff got mixed in and matted, it will decompose, but it stinks.. the bog is much of the yard... DONT AMMEND... DONT AMMEND, so much money and time wasted.. I pray winter will help break down, mix in, but still trying to find a few spots SOMEWHERE where I can put something (esp.) the fringes, they have massive white roots)... but going through IV Steroids this week and they make me sick... but thanks...

oh, found most of who you talk to at garden centers are clueless (the ones that have "blah blah" training, a landscape company was even worse, learning curve...

oh, the boggyness is so boggy, even the moisture tolerant were suffereing, redtwig dogwood, river birch died in 6 weeks, and this wasn't supplemental water... 2 summersweets, hostas i'll just have to stick in there and hope.. trying to grow grass just for winter (now that plants removed on one side, it's amazazing, whatevers in soil floats up daily (glass (never ending), small stones, all kinds of things).. but the soil is like..well, the dogs walk on and sink, and footprints remain, and therre's still puddles after a rain (we have rain finally).. lots of puddles, but the sinking is wierd, that should show loose soil (good root growth) but in the winter, wouldn't htat be air pockets?

I think my yard is possessed...




    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:15AM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

I am looking for a Paper Bark maple, so started reading this thread.

You've already amended like a crazy woman, what would a little more harm? Can you amend with sand for drainage, or even vats of pearlite? Can you trench, even small ones, for drainage? All is not lost.

I'm repotting JMs this week. No, I don't do it in the spring. I find the heat comes too quickly, where here, the cold is slower and healthier for the root-pruned plants. Anyway, before I knew you-know-what from Shinola, I just put dirt in my pots and stuck the plants in. Of the 100 or so JMs I'm repotting, I have dirt that's so UNaerated that I can't believe these lived.

I am also finding that since I didn't know better, many of them are terribly root bound. Makes me worried for the ones I did put into the ground by just taking them out of their pots and sticking them in.

Anyway, paperbarks aren't as fragile as you're thinking. They're not like some of the other type reds or sugar maples, but they have a will to live, too. :)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 11:41AM
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I exhausted myself awhile back, and somehow spontneously broke 9 ribs (bones are bad, but nobody knows how... and other injuries)... so I'm... set back again but just plain tired. Paperbark remains in pot for now, one J.Maple went in ground, if it lives, fine.. the smaller is just in a pot, waiting... for whenever.. the paperbark had been put in soil that had too many layers (i.e. not the normal soil) so it was suffering...

tired, it's gotten colder and wetter... lost enthusiasm


    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 7:22PM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

I hope you feel better very soon and can laugh again!
NONE ribs.
Did they check your vitamin D? I hope so.
I got a bunch of stress fractures one year when I had no vitamin D (or protein) in my system. No kitchen, living on tomato sauce and pasta for a couple years. That'll do it!

Take care of yourself.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:25PM
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