PLANTING AND CARE - JAPANESE MAPLES

PLANTING

  1. Choose the right place taking into consideration sunlight : most of Japanese maples (ACER palmatum) prefere shady places (for more information on your specific maple search on our website to get all details). In order to understand well "full sun", for example, don't be influenced by the place's orientation (south, north, west or east). It's the daytime period that counts. "Full sun" means in fact direct sunlight from noon until 5 pm. Avoid wet places where water stagnates in winter or summer. Japanese maples are well suited for slopes or pots.
    Feuille d'érable du Japon
  2. Prepare a good planting hole: for trees, conifers and shrubs, we recommand the following dimensions : 1 x 1 x 1 m. Separate the first layer of good soil and replace 50 % of the bad soil below with compost. Plants need nutrition just like you! DO NOT USE any peat. It drys strongly over rainless periods and later, it is very difficult to get wet again. As a result, your plants suffer lack of water. In addition, peat seams to increase the risk of verticillium which is a dangerous desease for Japanese maples.
  3. When you fill the hole again and plant your tree, shrub or conifer, you MUST NOT put any soil or compost on top of the initial root clod. Otherwise, plant growth can slow down or stop or the plant can dy. For Japanese maples, it's good to see a bit of the roots on the bottom of the trunc.
  4. Water well directly on the root clod (at least 12 liters).
  5. If you have any mulch, cover the planting area with it but avoid the bottom of the trunc. This will reduce weed and improve moisture during dry periods. DO NOT USE any cut grass and compost based on cut grass.
  6. Be aware of animal urines, especially cats and dogs. This kind of "watering" can be fatal for plants. Urine on evergreens, especially TAXUS baccata, BUXUS and conifers can have the result as systemic herbicdes : it destroys the plant by starting where the first contact happened and continues throught the rest of the plant. Urine of foxes and badgers can be as dangerous.
  7. If it's a tree that you are planting, it can be useful to install a post (depending on the size of the plant). This make your planting more stable and improves the development of new roots.

 

CARE

  1. Water well during at least 12 months and especially over dry periods. ATTENTION!! It can be dangerous to believe that rain brings enough water. That is oftentimes NOT true. If you want to succeed in gardening and ensure a good watering for you plants, buy a simple rain gauge. It's the only mean to observe the level of humidity in a garden. A rain gauge is as important as a spade or a hoe! The surveillance of a good humidity is even more important for evergreen plants as they show oftentimes too late a lack of water by loosing their leaves or turning yellow or brown. And then any rescue is vain.
  2. Japanese maples get verticillium: to prevent this, spray preventively leaves and branches on a regular basis with Bordeaux-mixture (used in organic agriculture). You can diminish the dose per spraying if you increase the number of treatments. Signs of verticillium are drying ends of branches or black shadows on the branches (escpecially on older ones). What to do if those signs appear? You MUST immediately prune those branches until you have a clean cut, put some healing paste on the cut and spray the whole plante (leaves and branches) with Bordeaux-mixture (with a high dose).
  3. If you don't have covered your planting area with mulch, open regularly the planting area with a hoe. Thereby water can easily enter the soil and reach more efficiently the plant's roots.
  4. AVOID pruning Japanese maples. If you can't do without, prune them only the last weak of may and the first of June. Afterwards follow our instructions on the treatment of verticillium (see point 3).

 

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