News & Tips

This is where timely tips and seasonal to do's are addressed.* 

*Based on Atlanta GA climate, which is USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7.

 

7/4/2017 

Happy 4th of July!!! 

 

4/14/2017 

The recent weather has been quite favorable for the Japanese maple's spring growth and it is now okay to do some pruning. There will certainly be considerable thinning needed to re-establish the graceful essence of your tree. This is particullary important with the laceleaf maples, as many look like shaggy dogs, desperately in need of a trim with the abundant push of new spring growth.  If however, your tree suffered from the late freeze, minimal to no pruning should be done depending on the severity of the damage.  The previously addressed regimen for these trees should be maintained to ensure their complete healthy recovery.  

 

4/2/2017 

WOW!!  What a kaleidoscope of spring colors.  Not sure which is better, Japanese maple fall color or spring color. They are certainly making it a difficult decision this year.  With the remarkable spring, summer and fall foliage, combined with their wonderful winter silhouette, Japanese maples are one of a few trees that can be easily classified as a four season tree.  

 

3/30/2017

With significant spring showers in the forecast, it would be adviseable to be pro-active and spray the vulnerable new foliage with a copper based fungicide such as "Phyton 27". 

 

3/21/2017 

Most Japanese maples are leafing out and for those damaged by the late frost, a pause before beginning the re-leafing process.  For trees minimally or not affected by the cold and required to be maintained within a limited space, a special pruning method is now recommended.  When the new shoots elongate, they need to be pruned back to the first or second pair of new leaves.  The horizontal pair should be selected over the vertical pair.  In using this method, tree size is controlled while maintaining the aesthetic essence of your Japanese maple. 

 

3/17/2017 

With a mild winter that encouraged early leaf budding and a surprise cold snap, many exposed Japanese maples have some amount of visible leaf burn.  There are many that have very little, while others have been completely burned. Should your tree be one of the lucky ones in the first group, little or no action is necessary.  However, if your tree has 40% or greater leaf damage, it is recommended that you do a soil drench with "Superthrive" added in at the prescibed rate.  This treatment should be done continously for a month, once a week.  By mid-April the stressed tree should be lightly fertilized with a product having an NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) value of not more than 2, 3 or 4.  A second fertilization should be done in the fall.  Watering should be consistent and modest, as over watering will result in undesirable vigorous growth, which will add additional stress to your tree.  

 

3/12/2017

WEATHER ALERT!!  The forecast is for very cold temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday night, which will be made worse with the expected strong winds.  Potted containers should be sheltered in a garage or basement overnight.  Small trees can be covered.  All others, say a prayer and cross your fingers.  Had this event occurred two weeks ago before the buds began to open, it would be of little concern. However, many of the Japanese maples have begun leafing out with some (A.p.'Katsura') fully leafed out.  At this point in development the leaves are very tender and susceptible to extreme cold temperatures.  Prolonged exposure will cause leaf burn and in severe cases, complete leaf failure and dieback.  

 

3/7/2017

Many of the Japanese maple's buds have swollen and will begin to open soon, if not already.  If you have not yet transplanted or repotted a tree that needed to be, you should not do so now.  Instead, wait until early May, but ideally waiting until October or November would be better.  This time of year the energy in the tree needs to be used for the development of new leaves and shoots and not diverted to combating the stress of any root disturbances.  

 

3/4/2017 

Spring is here and with it cool wet weather will abound. This is an ideal condition for harmful fungi such as Leaf Spot or Anthracnose to thrive. I strongly recommend a proactive foliar fungicide treatment to protect your Japanese maples new foliage. A second application should be done 10-14 days after the initial one. 

 

3/1/2017 

With favorable weather returning, it is a good time to do some final chores before the trees begin to wake up. One of these is to look at your Japanese maples and if the dead stems and branches that died over winter have not yet been removed, now is the time to do so. This task will be easier now with the dead wood being very obvious with its light grey coloring and no leaves to hide them.

 

2/23/2017 

If you have been observing your Japanese maples, you will have noticed new buds developing along their trunk and branches.  It is a good time to select those that are needed for future development, while the other unwanted buds should be rubbed off.  If these are allowed to sprout, the pruning wound will be larger when they are removed.  The goal over time is to make smaller pruning cuts and fewer larger cuts.

 

1/25/2017

It is now time to repot container trees if needed.  It is also an excellent time to transplant landscape trees.  Both of these tasks can be safely performed now thru March 2nd or until a week before the new leaves begin to open.

 

1/7/2017 

With the cold weather setting in, it is a great time to look through Japanese maple catalogs.  There are always new selections and one that might replace an under performer.  Winter is also an excellent time to curl up with a good book and learn more about Japanese maples and how better to properly care for them.  There are several good ones in the resources section of this website. 

 

1/1/2017

Happy New Year!!!  What will this new year be?  Hopefully a year of a return to normalcy .....please.  

 

11/24/2016 

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Very thankful to actually see some nice fall color despite the bad weather we have experienced over the last four months.  Enjoy!!!!  

 

11/1/2016

It finally actually feels like a normal fall day with signature cooler weather.  A little rain would be greatly appreciated about now. 

 

10/5/2016 

With many of the Japanese maples showing signs of severe stress from the extended HOT and DRY weather conditions, it is very important to only do minor necessary pruning to these trees.  

 

9/29/2016 

Though the hot days continue, the temperatures have been below 86 degrees.  Moderate pruning can be safely performed.  

 

9/14/2016 

Normally by now the summer heat has subsided and some pruning could be undertaken. However, this year the hot temperatures are persisting and NO PRUNING should be performed at this time.  Hopefully by the end of the month, all this excessive heat will go away with more normal fall weather returning.   As a result of all this hot weather, there is a tremendous amount of leaf scorch being observed on many of the Japanese maples.  

 

8/18/2016  

Some areas of Atlanta and the southeast have received an above average amount of rain this summer.  As a result some Japanese maples have leaves that have turned brown and have fallen off.  This is a normal defense mechanism of maples in general.  As long as the wood looks healthy and there are new buds forming for next spring, your tree will be fine. Fall color will have to wait another year.  

 

7/12/2016

With the summer heat firmly in control, it is highly recommended to seek ways to help your Japanese maples through this stressful time.  One such option is to ensure that there is an adequate layer (2 or 3 inches) of mulch around the base of your tree radiating out to the drip line.  This will not only keep the soil temperature cooler, but will also help retain moisture in the soil by mitigating the evaporation process. 

 

7/4/2016 

Happy 4th of July!!  The optimal temperatures for Japanese maple growth are 68-86 degrees.  With the temperatures now consistently 89 degrees or greater, the trees have temporarily shut down.  No pruning should be done at this time to allow the trees to rest during this unwelcome heat.  

 

6/18/2016 

Could someone please turn down the thermastat.  Atlanta is certainly living up to its reputation as HOTlanta. During the next ten weeks, it is critical that Japanese maples are properly watered with a consistent watering regimen.  Lack of sufficient moisture will cause leaf scorch and undue stress to your trees, which can then lead to unwanted disease and pest problems. 

 

4/20/2016 

It is a good time to begin maintenance pruning on your Japanese maples.  Start with the obvious, which is the removal of dead or diseased wood and then look to correct any structural problems.  This should be followed with thinning of the canopy to allow for good air circulation and light penetration through the tree.  In doing so, you will successfully discourage pests and disease from attacking your trees, thus providing them with healthy conditions to grow.  Remember that it is better to do frequent lighter pruning than one large extensive pruning.  Always evaluate your trees before and after each pruning session.  

 

3/12/2016

With mild temperatures and moist weather, these conditions are favorable for disease.  Protect against Anthracnose and other fungal diseases by spraying with a copper based fungicide now.  If the disease was present last year, three applications is strongly recommended.  Be sure to wait 10-14 days between treatments. 

 

3/10/2016

Some of the Japanese maples are beginning to leaf out.  It is highly recommended that you keep a watchful eye out for squirrels who seem to enjoy feasting on the new swollen buds.  

                                                                                           

2/29/2016 

"Happy Leap Day"  It appears we are going to have a short winter.  Trees will be encouraged to leaf out early so definitely keep an eye on the overnight temperatures.  Hopefully there will be no end of March surprises.      

                        

2/1/2016                              

If you have considered moving an existing Japanese maple, now through the end of the month is a great time to execute your plan.  This will provide the least amount of stress on the tree and allow it to start off the main spring growing period developing new roots to replace those lost during the transplanting process.                                    

                        

1/15/2016 

Despite those that recommend pruning Japanese maples during the winter and the occasional tease of warm winter temperatures, it is a practice that should be avoided. The trees are at rest preparing for the coming growing season and should be left alone. Only heavy corrective pruning may be addressed in late winter toward the end of February. Anything else should wait until after the new leaves have opened and hardened off, which is typically late April.    

                                                                                                                                                                               

1/1/2016

Happy New Year!!  Where did the year go.  New resolution ...be more timely with updates to this page.  Lets hope this years weather is gentler and more favorable.                  

                                                                                                                                                         

1/1/2015

Happy New Year!!!

Hoping this year will be better than the last and the weather kinder.

 

12/25/2014

Merry Christmas!!

Give yourself the gift of a new Japanese maple tree.

 

2/15/2014

Has it been 5 or 6 years since planting your Japanese maple in a container? If so, it is now time to re-pot the tree giving its roots room to grow. After removing the tree from its container, take a good look at the roots for signs of trouble. Assuming the old container will be reused, the trees roots will need to be cut back, a process known as root pruning. The root mass should be reduced by one third cutting back the thicker roots and some of the finer roots. Replant the tree, working the new soil around the roots and ensuring the root crown is exposed to light and air. This simple task when properly executed will provide healthy conditions in which the Japanese maple can grow and give its owner several more years of seasonal beauty.

 

2/3/2014

If you are thinking of moving an existing Japanese maple in your landscape, the month of February is the best time. This provides the least amount of stress on the tree and allows it to start off the main spring growing period developing new roots to replace those lost during the transplanting process.

 

1/25/2014

With the cold weather still inhibiting outdoor garden activities, you may be looking at the internet and the myriad of YouTube offerings to boost your knowledge. Please be aware that all content is not necessarily accurate. Do not be fooled by those appearing to be professionals providing what seems to be wise useful tips. Applying some of these inaccurate tips to your Japanese maple will dramatically affect the health and value of your tree in a very negative way. There will be several of these videos provided in the "Resources" section under links. They are only showcased as clear examples of what not to do. There will also be a few that have been found to be of great use with sound educated information and tips.

 

1/18/2014

Though there are those that recommend the pruning of Japanese maples during the winter, it is a practice that should be avoided. The trees are at rest preparing for the coming growing season and should be left alone. Only heavy corrective pruning may be addressed in late winter toward the end of February. Anything else should wait until the new leaves have opened and hardened off, which is typically late April.

 

1/12/2014

A belated Happy New Year!! This will certainly go down as one of the harshest winters. Certainly a great opportunity to sit by the fire with a good book to learn more about Japanese maples and how to properly care for them. There are several excellent ones in the "Resources" section of this website.

 

11/28/2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

It is time to put away the pruners and enjoy the holiday.

 

11/15/2013

The anticipation of fall color in the Japanese maples has been ruined for many due to a very hard freeze. The leaf tissue was destroyed and the leaves have dried up on the trees. The leaves will probably persist on the trees over winter unless removed. This goes to show that when dealing with Mother Nature, nothing is a guarantee. Hope next fall makes up for the one lost this year.

 

11/9/2013

The time to make those aggressive cuts and refine the winter silhouette is here. on any large cuts it is imperative to seal them with Japanese cut paste or Phytech50 preventing disease and insects from entering the open cut. it will also help in preventing the wound from drying out.

 

8/25/2013

It is now okay to do some light pruning, but would defer any heavy pruning until November. It would also be a good idea to lightly fertilize container trees in order to replace nitrogen that has leached through the soil due to all the wet weather.

 

8/2/2013

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain. The southeast has received record amounts of rain. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. All this rain is correcting much of the drought conditions that existed. The down side is that just like insufficient rain, too much rain can also stress your Japanese maples. Keep an eye on this and if need be, adjust your fall pruning accordingly.

 

7/4/2013

Happy 4th of July!!

The hot weather has arrived, which means you should put away your pruning tools until late August. This will allow your Japanese maples to rest during the unwelcome heat. Be sure to be vigilant with your trees need for water during this period.

 

6/17/2013

Have noticed an unusual increase in the number of Japanese maples with significant die-back this summer. This may be due to unfavorable conditions in previous years, that when added to another stressful event this spring, may have triggered this response. Here in Atlanta it may be the result of the above normal rainfall we have received. It is highly recommended that should the summer become more normal, a consistent watering regimen must be maintained to avoid stressing the trees during the hottest period of the year. Poor watering practices will dramatically increase the possibility of tree problems later.

 

5/28/2013

Due to the weather this spring, there is an increase in the number of insect pests. There have been more trees than normal infested with Woolly Aphids and Leafhoppers. Recommend treating affected Japanese maples before serious damage or stress is done to the tree.

 

5/16/2013

We are now in a prime pruning period for Japanese maples. Remember to first remove any dead or diseased wood and then look to correct any structural problems. This should be followed with thinning the canopy to allow for good air circulation and light penetration through the tree. This will help discourage pest and disease issues, thus aiding in the health of the tree.

 

4/25/2013

Now that the weather has been consistently above 68° and the new foliage has hardened off, it is now safe to perform moderate pruning.

 

3/22/2013

Spring is here and with it cool wet weather will abound. This is an ideal condition for harmful fungi such as Leaf Spot or Anthracnose to thrive. I strongly recommend a proactive foliar fungicide treatment to protect your Japanese maples new vulnerable foliage. A second application should be done 10-14 days after the initial one.

 

3/15/2013

A few of the Japanese maples are beginning to leaf out. You would be very prudent to keep a wary eye out for squirrels who seem to enjoy feasting on the newly opened buds.

 

3/3/2013

With favorable weather returning, it is a good time to do some final chores before the trees begin to wake up. One of these is to look at your Japanese maples and if the dead stems and branches that died over winter have not yet been removed, now is the time to do so. This task will be easier now with the dead wood being very obvious with its light grey coloring and no leaves to hide them.

 

2/20/2013

If you have been observing your Japanese maples, you will have noticed new buds developing along their trunk and branches. It is a good time to select those that are needed for future development, while the other unwanted buds should be rubbed off. If these are allowed to sprout, the pruning wound will be larger when they are removed. The goal over time is to make smaller pruning cuts and fewer larger cuts.

 

2/11/2013

Now through the end of February is the time to re-pot container trees if needed. It is also a preferred time to transplant your landscape trees that may need a different spot in your garden. Remember, DO NOT fertilize any trees that had their root systems disturbed (i.e. root pruning or transplanting) until May.

 

1/17/2013

With the cold weather setting in, it is a great time to look through Japanese maple catalogs. There are always new selections and one that might replace an under performer. Winter is also an excellent time to curl up with a good book and learn more about Japanese maples and how better to properly care for them. There are several good ones in the resources section of this website.

 

1/1/2013

Happy New Year!!  Now is a good time to make that resolution.  Have this be the year to be proactive regarding the care of your Japanese maples.  Ensure the three P's are addressed: proper watering, proper pruning and proper treatment of any pest or disease problems.  Have a wonderful year.