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staking japanese maples--can i do it

Posted by t-bob west wa (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 15, 14 at 13:01

Hi All,
Last year I planted into the ground a Japanese maple that I had in a pot for probably 15+ years. It is about 4 foot tall and 6 foot spread. It transplanted just fine and a lot of the leaves fell off, then re-leafed just fine.....THEN, those little &%$&**&^ bambis came and ate all the leaves. I surrounded with fencing and it once again re-leafed......BUT, I don't want to have it fenced for the rest of its life, and I have a thought what to do.

WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK OF THIS SOLUTION:
what I thought I could do is to drive some tall stakes next to my tree and then tie the limbs so they go up straight and force the tree to grow upwards. Then next year, or the next, or the next, be able to remove the fencing and stakes once the limbs are high enough the deer are not able to get to the upper leaves/limbs..

do you think the tied limbs would stay going up once I removed the stakes after a year or two?.it is fine if there are not lower leaves if I can have it without fencing.

I feel like since it is mid January it is time to do this if folks think this will work--WHAT SAY YOU?---THANKS---Bob


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RE: staking japanese maples--can i do it

What kind of Japanese maple is it? That can make a real difference in its typical growth habit and how you may be able to protect it from deer down the road.

Just off the cuff, I don't think what you propose is going to have much value. Without seeing the tree or knowing the variety this is all speculation but the tree sounds like it might be a smaller variety, perhaps even a weeping form. In which case, staking the branches upward is not going to produce the result you intend.

Just a word or two on growth habits....... you can stake lower branches to a more upright position but it will greatly affect the beauty of the tree, which is to grow uninhibited in the form nature intended. And they will likely never be really vertical or ever above the reach of a hungry deer. Tree branches never grow higher on the tree than where they emerge initially - it is the trunk that elongates vertically. A better choice might be to remove lower reaching branches but with a 4' tree, that is somewhat of a moot point as well.

You are going to be far better served by fencing the tree away from the deer predation or by using a deer repellant on a routine basis


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