Alternatives to cutting down my mature Japanese Maples?

jacqueusiOctober 4, 2011

House is coming down in 30 days. We are doing a teardown followed by a modular build.

Our builders informed us the trees have got to go. They are about 20 years old, have been there since we moved in 12 years ago. I HATE to see them get cut down, but have no alternatives at the moment. I could POSSIBLY keep one, just have it moved but there is no space on my lot for both trees and the risk/expense of the trees not making the move is a concern.

ÃÂ I tried posting them on Craiglists, a few inquries, but no follow-ups. Gardenweb is their last chance.

Beautiful trees, the pictures don't do them justice. Right now and during the summer they are greenish color getting ready to turn red.


ÃÂ Any suggestions?

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I don't see any way of saving these without considerable trouble. Have you tried asking any of the nurseries around you if they want them. The reason I really responded to this post is the tree in front. Get that pile of rocks and soil away from the trunk, or you are likely to loose this too.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 8:45PM
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I've tried a couple of nurseries but no interest. I'll move the rocks and soil once construction starts. It's been there since we moved into the house 12 years ago.

Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:45PM
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Maybe you could get a tree spade in to move it.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 9:49PM
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very nice trees. if they are named cultivars you may get more interest in them.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 5:39AM
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Unless the footprint of the new house overlaps the location of the maple, the trees could remain. You'd also want a construction fencing exclusion zone around a suitably large section of your front lawn and a clause in the builder's contract enforcing the exclusion zone and grant prior approval of any pruning required for construction.
If there is one thing I learned in industry construction, ANYTHING CAN BE's just how much you want to pay for it.
When your builder says it isn't possible, he just hasn't been offered the right incentive yet and you haven't been firm enough with your expectations.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 2:12PM
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houstontexas123, what would be the best way to get the name? Thank you for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 1:31AM
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smivies, unfortunately the house will overlap the existing location of the trees. For example the tree on the right is directly over the front porch.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 1:32AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I'd just keep the house as is, thats my suggestion.

FYI...Acer palmatum (I'd assume that is what these are less the cultivar) are very intolerant of root disturbance. Even if you tried to move them their chances of survival are extremely low.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 7:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Multiple decades old weeping lace leaf Japanese maples are dug up and re-planted in my area rather often, as far as it goes. These come on the market when old properties change hands, and the new people or situation has no room for them.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 9:31PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Yup, I've moved a lot of big ones over the years and haven't had any problems. As far as my experiences go, Japanese Maples, both weeping and upright, move rather well.
A lot depends on what type of soil they are growing in which reflects as to what type of root ball you will get.
And how well they are prepared for the move. Also, what type of situation are they going to be put in when replanted? That includes aftercare.

Those pictured, are at about the limit for me, without bringing in big equipment designed for moving large trees.
Finding a buyer willing to pay for the cost of moving them is the real problem. Do that first and see where you go.

I applaud you desire to save them.
A person after my own heart.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 6:15AM
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gotsomerice(Sunset 23)

If the house is a teardown. I would not move the trees. You cannot really replace them. The new house would be so nice with the trees. I would save them.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 8:12PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

If the contractors have to work around those trees, the cost of construction will go way up. Also, maybe the new house is going to be bigger or placed closer to the street, and the trees will be in the way. If the contractors say they have to go...they hafta go.
Mike...retired contractor.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:41PM
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tony_o(z.6 (Okla.))

This is the perfect time of year to take cuttings. You'll be able to plant them where ever you want to in another year or two. Sell, or give away the extras you'll have. I'd gladly pay postage for any you don't need.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 7:17PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Tony, maples are very difficult to propagate by cuttings. It's almost always done by seed or grafting.
I have layered Vine Maple, Acer circinatum, and got it to root though.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 8:16AM
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Certainly I'd agree that there are a lot easier plants to propagate via cuttings,and the cultivars can yield very low results.However species palmatums can be done with adequate results(depends what you hope for)I recycled my rootstocks( all red matsumurae)with no special treatment this summer.A lot of cuttings taken and yielded over 50% take I'd say.These were obviously young vigorous plants though.The timing at least here in UK would not be good as maples will be going into dormancy.Perhaps seeds would be better bet though I'm sure you'll just buy new trees if these have to go...much easier!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 12:12PM
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