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Jap. Maple survival question

Posted by canadianplant (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 21:11

Japanese maples are at best, half hardy in my area, unless you have a good microclimate, or have a small species that can be buried under snow, or mulch.

I found a "red dragon" for half off mid summer, so I figured I would give it a shot. Needless to say, I didnt get a chance to plant it, or bury the pot. So its been sitting outside.

The average temp in Dec. Was -3C for a high and -11C for a low. The average high in Jan has bee, -1 and the average was again -11C.

We did go to -17C a few nights, but here, that is above average, and winters here have been so for the last 3 years running. The point is, I still do get cold, and since we also have no snow, there is no insulation.

I brought it in, seeing as its had 2 or 3 months with a decent chill, and its in my basement. Its roughly 12C.

So, what are my chances its alive? Did I do the right thing by bringing it inside, seeing as I have no way to protect it outside?


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RE: Jap. Maple survival question

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 12, 13 at 12:28

You can tell by looking at the roots. If they have gone brown and soft, there has been damage. First to go is the new roots on the outside, then the old roots near the center, and then the top. That's how a frozen specimen can start to leaf out in spring and then shrivel, the top is still able to function until it needs to make use of the roots.

If you got it in before the roots were killed and it has not gotten too cold where it is being stored it may be in fine shape. You will to keep in a cool, bright area where it does not freeze up hard but it is not warm enough for it to bud out prematurely. If your climate is too hard for it to live outside in the ground you will have to maintain it as a tubbed specimen that is sheltered inside every winter.


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RE: Jap. Maple survival question

As far as plants go, just because there is some root damage, does not mean the plant is a loss. Im assuming as long as 2/3 of the roots are fine, then it should have a decent chance??

Im pretty sure I can get it to survive outside. I just couldnt get it in the ground before we got snow then cold. If its in the basement, at 12C im pretty sure it will end up budding. I dont really have a place that gets cold but doesnt freeze really hard.


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