Japanese Maple Trees
Q.

Japanese maple seedling

Zone 46322 | Kazyellowbird added on August 16, 2017 | Answered

My Japanese maple died in its second year. However, the next year I discovered 6 seedlings near the stump of the original tree. This is now their second year. I would like to move a few of these, but I'm not sure when to do it, how much do the root do I need to be sure to get and move to another location, or pot up? I live in northwest Indiana. Thank you. Karan Z.

A.
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MichiganDot
Answered on August 16, 2017

I would wait until Sept/Oct to move the seedlings. You could move it now but you will have to coddle it during hot weather. That means more frequent watering and providing shade from afternoon sun. Even after leaf fall, the roots keep working until the ground freezes. Make sure the soil drains well and mulch to reduce the amount of soil freeze and thaw. Don't prune or fertilize yet but do make sure it is well-watered going into winter. Obviously, you want to bring as much of the root-ball as you can manage. Gently scrape the soil and see where the roots are. Maples are fairly shallow rooted - no deep digging to worry about. For older trees the rule is to start digging out one foot for every inch of trunk diameter. The Japanese maple is a highly bred tree; usually these do not come true from seed. Seed-grown stock will not look like the parent plant if it was a cultivar and not Acer palmatum "Atropurpurpeum".

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