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* Do not create a bowl shaped "water catch" around your tree. Be sure to raise the soil level a couple inches so the new maple is planted on a slight mound. Mix one part well-draining potting soil with one part compost to formulate the best soil for a Japanese maple in a container. Inadequate soil preparation and improper planting are two frequent causes of plant failure. We are here to help. It’s not that hard to start growing Japanese maples in containers. Heavier pruning can be done every 2-4 years which includes general shaping and removing cross branches. Learn how to plant and care for Japeanse maples. Although most Japanese Maples have a wonderful natural branch structure, pruning is a great way to form and train your tree to fit the look you want in the landscape. Fertilize sparingly. Nutrient Retention. Plant the root ball and top of soil … When planting your new tree in the ground, it is important to choose the correct location. Extra care will be needed to make sure the roots do not dry out during the first summer after you have planted it. This won’t harm your tree. When growing Japanese Maples in pots, the correct soil is key. Slide the tree's root ball out of the pot. Bulk potting soil is available, usually around $55 a yard, but worth it. The combo of potting soil and bark/perlite pretty closely approximates the gritty mix referred to above without having to go through the effort of finding all the individual ingredients, which sounds like it could be tricky in your location. Tamp the soil down firmly. Fertilizing in late summer or fall is never a good idea. Soils to use when planting in the ground include screened top soil, bagged compost, Peat Moss, and Composted Pine bark. Once you receive your tree, you should immediately remove it from the plastic bag and place it in a shady spot. Yearly maintenance pruning includes removing smaller dead twigs from your tree. The drawback of this mix is that it's highly inorganic; the only organic part being pine bark and that decomposes slowly too. Although a fresh green shoot growing below the graft union may look pretty, it will be extremely vigorous and eventually take over the tree. We recommend one of our high quality potting soils such as “Edna’s Best Potting Soil.” Do not use soil from your garden; it doesn’t drain well and may introduce disease. 1.Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes For Japanese Maple Trees 16 … The planting soil mix is the foundation for building a strong root system which in turn will help to develop a healthy tree. * Do not water the tree without first checking to see if the soil is actually moderately dry. For the best growth and performance, Japanese maples prefer a rich soil high in organic materials but drains well. Just snip off the dead portion of the branch with pruners. If you purchase a Japanese Maple in winter, it is important to protect it from temperatures much below 30F. Spread the bottom of the root ball apart gently to spread out the roots. This is a recipe that will accommodate the vast majority of woody plants in a container growing situation. Select a container with drainage holes in the bottom and a light color to prevent the root ball from overheating. Just ask at any garden centre or nursery and they will know what you mean. Placing the tree in full sun or strong wind will often result in severe shock to the tree. It is best to check the soil around the tree first to see if it needs watered. Japanese maples like moist not wet soils. What do most growers around here use as a potting mix. This simple mix will greatly increase the drainage. Potted Japanese maples will become root bound, or crowded, in their pots and must be repotted every two to three years to allow for continuous growth. This moderate fertilization practice will keep your maples healthy. Apply a water-based fertilizer, diluted to half-strength, when growth begins in the spring. Japanese maples won't survive in soggy soil. "Offering Exceptional Trees to Build Inspiring Gardens", You can purchase our premium Japanese Maple potting soil here. Mulch will protect the root system by holding moisture in the soil and also provide nutrients as it decomposes. But it’s not readily available in all areas and in most cases you need to send a truck to get it. CARE for Japanese maples by watering regularly for the first three years. Japanese maples will not tolerate wet soil and will fail in a matter of months, if not weeks, if you plant them in an area where their roots are wet all the time. * Do not continuously water a freshly planted Japanese Maple. I'm thinking of equal parts pine bark, Turface, crushed granite, and potting soil, ie … Apply a water-based fertilizer, diluted to half-strength, when growth begins in spring. A high-quality container soil mix that has shown to be dense enough to support my Japanese maples, has good nutrient holding capacity, is well draining allowing water and air to pass readily, and at the same time retains adequate moisture. Avoid using liquid fertilizer. Though some varieties can handle full sun. Make two or three cuts, 4 inches deep, into the bottom of the root ball with a knife. Japanese Maples don't generally require pruning, but, if needed, prune when they are dormant to remove any dead, dying, or crowded branches, or to maintain shape. Move the tree to its place in the landscape using a hand truck or dolly. Some garden centers will sell a bagged "tree and shrub planting mix" and it is always worth the extra expense for premium planting soil. The next decision is which soil to use. North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox: Acer Palmatum, How to Plant Coral Bark Maple in a Container, Care Instructions for the Adansonia Digitata Bonsai Tree. Happy Frog ® Japanese Maple Fertilizer is specifically formulated for use on Japanese maples, lilies, evergreens, hydrangeas, junipers, dogwoods, flowering ornamentals, and other low pH feeders. Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) work well as focal points in Zen or Asian-style landscapes with their lacy palmate leaves and twisting, gnarly trunks. Acidic Soil, Mulch & Red Maples. Although they like moisture, they will not tolerate wet feet, planted in soils that have a tendency to remain soggy. This unique blend of fertilizers and microorganisms delivers nutrition where your plants need it most. I have read that Japanese Maples prefer lightly acidic soil. Japanese Maples dislike alkaline soil and produce the best leaf colour in a slightly acid soil. If you search the internet about the best soil for potted Japanese Maples, you will see a lot of different opinions but one thing they will have in common is a soil that is well-drained. 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