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Big mistake?

Posted by fenix 4b-5a (My Page) on
Wed, May 16, 07 at 10:42

So I was in Home Depot the other day, picking up some odds and ends and just happened to walk through the Garden Center. For 100 bucks there was a gorgeous 8 ft. tall Oshio Beni. Three others, for the same price, were barely 5 ft tall; I just couldnt resist. Heres the thing though, they are hardy to zone 5b and I live in 5a (which is just barely removed from 4b). Now, I know that the large home stores are not the best places to buy trees, since they are typically ordered in bulk from parent stores in different locations. But like I said, I just couldnt resist this large, beautiful, fully branched Japanese maple that now looks great next to my house. My question is, how do I keep the thing alive during the winter? Obviously, due to its size I cant bring it in. Does the fact that it is so large have anything to do with how well it can tolerate a string of sub-zero winter days?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Big mistake?

Yes you do have a bit of a problem should hasve bought the smaller ones and contanerized ;>) but who amoung us would have spent the same moola on a smaller tree ...NOT I.. So what to do now ... well find a really protected area away from prevailing winds with an east exposure, west and north protection and hopefully some south sun but not too much south wind ...YAH RIGHT got to move now for that tree ...see how much your bargain had already cost ya ... oh well anyway seriously try to get as close to the above situation as possible but not to close to structures. Mulch heavily 4-6" ( I use cedar since it keeps bugs away) and keep 4-6 " minumum away from trunk. I would expect some winter die back but it may do fine ...And yes having an older larger tree definitly increases your success rate since it has a well established root system that can better withstand the elements ... I think you'll be alright unless you get a 25- 30 below winter which is unlikely with global warming but possibe ...GODD LUCK ..David

RE: Big mistake?

Thanks David. I actually think I have it is a pretty good position. It is on the SE corner of the house, protected from western winds, and harsh easten winds, receives morning sun and afternoon shade. I do however have it planted very close to the house, about a foot away. You said to keep it away from structures, and I was under the impression that JM roots do not pose a threat to building foundations. Am I wrong?

PS. Not to say that it couldn't happen, but I certainly do not remember any 25-30 below winters.

RE: Big mistake?

Those winters were in the 80's although we had some -20(+-) below for one night or so in the mid 90's...

I think thats a bit close even in your area ( that tree could get big fast)'s what a dave's garden guy says about it..

"A gardening friend of mine grows this selection in St. John's, Newfoundland so I have personal experience with it. It belongs to the Amoenum Group, but does tend towards the more deeply cut leaves of a Palmatum. The spring foliage is more orange-red than the typical purple-red of the many 'red-leaved' selections. Summer foliage may develop a green cast to the reddish-purple, but the fall colour is very bright red indeed. It forms a broad-headed small tree 6-8 m tall (my friend's is now about 3 m after 8 years)."

That's about 10ft in zone 5b and we don't know what size he started with...This has been an ongoing discussion in this group and diageeement as well... I being on the side of not planting anywhere near that close!!..No it will not hurt the foundation but it may be a mess and a trimming nightmare and you may have a one sided tree being so close..I think even the "close planter's" would agree that is way too close especially for that particular tree ..David

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