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Jap Maple Die-Back--What to do?

Posted by terryjean 5 Central IL (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 5, 08 at 9:47

Hello all - I haven't posted on the Maple site before but am a regular on the rose forum, so I would like to introduce myself. I garden in Zone 5 central Illinois, and mainly grow (you guessed it!) roses and their companions.

However, I do have a Japanese maple that I planted about 5 years ago but I am unsure of the cultivar since I won it at a local school fundraising as a donation by the local landscaping company.

Up until the last year's dreaded Easter freeze, it was hardy; no winter dieback, and was growing well. It is about 4' tall, a dark maroon in color, and appeared healthy.
The tree had already fully-leafed out before the freeze, and lost all leaves afterwards. Most of the leaves did reemerge again within a month, but one tree branch from the main trunk appeared to have been damaged which I did prune off in the fall.

Now to my question: This spring, there have been NO leaves except for two tiny ones on the top of the main trunk. All growth is coming from the bottom of the ground, like suckering growth.

Should I remove this tree? Cut down the entire tree and see what emerges from this growth? Any advice would be so appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Jap Maple Die-Back--What to do?

Sounds like it croaked to me. I would remove the suckers, then let it alone for another month. If nothing happens, then I would remove the tree and try again.


RE: Jap Maple Die-Back--What to do?

I had this happen and I left both the main trunk and the suckers alone. Over time it became apparent that nothing was going to happen with the main trunk. Fortunately, the suckers got taller and wider and now the resulting tree is even nicer than the previous one. I guess it all depends on if you are willing to live with the variety you get with the rootstock, or if you MUST have the grafted stock to please yourself. Mine happened to be very similar so it didn't matter.

RE: Jap Maple Die-Back--What to do?

Botanybabe - it's encouraging to know that my tree does have a chance; I'll just leave it alone and see what happens. The suckers are very beautiful; a deep burgundy color and appear very healthy. At least the tree is trying to live, so I don't want to cut it down if it has a chance.
Thanks for the reply.

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