Return to the Japanese Gardens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Damaged Sango Kaku, what should I do now?

Posted by PacNWbalconyGrower none (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 21:29

Hey guys! Second post ever on these forums. I came seeking advice. My first post was over in the Bamboo forum. Now, it's the Japanese Maple's turn.

So, I live in downtown Portland, Oregon. I live on the side of a hill where my balcony faces East. My balcony gets direct sunlight from sunrise until 1-2PM. I bought my Sango Kaku from Home Depot about 2 years ago now. I love it. She's my baby.

However, around the end of June and beginning of July I went through some traumatic life events and my Maple went unwatered for two weeks, maybe even three. This is after previous issues I had with aphids and ants and that was one big ordeal, but once I killed the ants, the aphids were easy to get rid of. The tree returned to really good health until this drought it went through.

Literally every single leaf turned brown and crispy. I panicked, watered and fertilized the hell out of it. I later learned that I should not have fertilized it. But I continued watering it for about two weeks hoping the leaves would regain life and turn green again. They didn't. So I scratched the bark a little and it was green and alive underneath so I had hope the tree was still alive.

So I tried an experiment and removed all the dead leaves but only on the bottom portion of the tree just in case that was something I shouldn't do. I continued to water like normal and low and behold...perfectly healthy leaves began to grow. So then I removed the remainder of the leaves and actually mixed all of them into the top 2-3" of the soil to create like a mulch. This was maybe two weeks ago now, however, no new leaves emerging as quick as the ones beneath showed up. The leaves on the bottom are developing great.

So I'm very happy that I didn't kill the tree but I'm wondering where I should go from here? Should I trim branches? Should I wait longer? Should I fertilize it? Any Japanese Maple experts out there have any advice for a novice like me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much. :)

Here's my tree...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Damaged Sango Kaku, what should I do now?

Close-up of new growth

RE: Damaged Sango Kaku, what should I do now?

Congrats on your tree living for you.
First off, I would remove that grass you have planted in the pot. I think your tree, if it lives til next spring, deserves a bigger pot that is wide on the top so it can spread out a little more.
I think that pot is too small for the size of your tree.
You have to be diligent in watering your jap mple if you pot it like that.
You should be fine, just water the tree a couple times a week if it doesn't rain for you.
No fertilizing, just water a couple times a week.
Next spring, BEFORE it leafs out, transplant into bigger pot.
Don't touch it, just water.

RE: Damaged Sango Kaku, what should I do now?

Agree with butterfly... that grass is taking up a lot of the space for roots for your maple. I would also not trim anything until after new growth comes out and hardens, maybe end of June next year, but definitely repot, and go to the maples (and Bonsai) forums and read up on granular soil mixes. Dirt is not a good medium to grow trees for any length of time (in a pot). You have the right exposure for the tree to do well. There are methods of watering for when you're away for a bit. Also, read up on root pruning when you transplant. It is a big deal for trees that will live entirely in a pot.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Japanese Gardens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here