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Help! Questions about my new Crimson Queen maple

Posted by virginiabusch (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 9, 07 at 12:34

I just bought a japanses maple tree yesterday. It's about 4ft tall and still posted.
I asked the expert at the gardening store, how to make it weep and he said to just remove the posts. The problem is, my mom says I should wait until next year to remove the stakes. She thinks that the "trunk" is still not quite thick enough and that it could break. As well, she said that pruning it will keep it lower to the ground.
Now, I'm totally confused. Does anyone have and advice/suggestions as to what I should do.
Thanks in advance

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help! Questions about my new Crimson Queen maple

The CQ is not as great as weeper as some but it will weep natually...I feel it is always best to stake , so they grow up and out both.. I would say leave it and possibly replace it in the future with bigger stakes and keep it a bit upright it will naturally weep anyway...if you really want a "Cousin It" tree or "creeping ground monster" you will get more of that by taking the stake off but if the stem is frail your mom is right.. wait til next year.. David

RE: Help! Questions about my new Crimson Queen maple

I'm not sure I agree with David entirely :-) CG's are naturally weepers but the ultimate height any individual tree will attain will be based on the location of the graft and how it has been trained. If you want the tree to top out at around 4', give or take a bit, there is no problem in removing the supporting stake now - it will not break (unless there is a possibility of a very heavy snowload in winter), so no worries there. A 4' CQ is not a juvenile graft - this tree has been grown on for a number of years to attain that height. It often takes considerable time for a JM trunk to gain much girth and to leave it staked for that long a period is IMO a mistake.

I'd also caution about heeding any advice regarding pruning to reduce height - this is NOT a practice you want to follow with a JM. Pruning should be limited to enhancing the natural form and branch structure or perhaps shortening any long, ground sweeping branches and of course removing any dead wood or conflicting branches but it should not be done to reduce height, particularly on a form like CQ.

Some of the most handsome specimen CQ maples at our nursery are no more than 3-4' tall but with a wide, cascading canopy 6-8' across. Rather than a "Cousin It" look, these have a broad, umbrella-like appearance - very graceful but with a need for sufficient space to show them off properly.

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