Stunted Japanese maple


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This is a little bit of a stretch for "pond talk", I know... but I swear it's related!! O:)

I bought a Tamukeyama Japanese maple about 15 years ago, like this:


I originally kept it in a large container, then when I bought my house I was able to plant it in the ground. It stayed small in the pot, but even after planting it some 10 years ago, it never got any bigger.

Monrovia says they get 6-10' tall and 10-12' wide, but mine is maybe 3' tall and 4' wide.

They also say that it's best in part shade to part sun, which is where I have it; in the shade of a dogwood tree, so it gets dappled light until late afternoon, then direct sun for the last 4-5 hours or so. But mine has never been very lush with leaves, so I thought it needed MORE sun until I started to post and saw that on Monrovia's site. I never use fertilizer on it and it's in an area with a sprinkler that I run for 30 minutes every other day (unless there's been enough rain). I have well water that's slightly acidic, which I think is their preference.

I was thinking about moving it next to the bog I'm designing so that it would hang over the front of the bog and edge of my pond, but I'm concerned that if I plant it for the size it is now then it might grow in the new area, and then the roots would push the sides of my pond liner (see, I told you it was related!! LOL).

What do you all think, after 15 years is it stunted for life? Or is this an issue of not enough water getting to roots, or maybe salt or lime buildup, and the new location might jump start its growth again?
 
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FWIW, I'm in zone 7A... I see everyone else has that in their profile, but I can't find where to add it :-(
 
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I don’t believe the roots of a Japanese maple will be an issue for good quality EPDM. The Japanese Maple you have a is a dwarf variety so I would expect slow growth yearly. I planted a Japanese Maple last year when building my pond and it’s close to the edge and I have zero concerns about the roots. Your challenge I believe will be transplanting the tree itself.

Trees can be tough to transplant unless a large root ball is included and even then they will usually sulk for a year or two even with good watering. Now that also depends on the type of tree. If you have the means to dig a big root ball and use burlap to wrap it and support the ball then drag it to it’s new spot, you may be okay. I would also do it i the Fall, not mid-summer.
 

JRS

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FWIW, I'm in zone 7A... I see everyone else has that in their profile, but I can't find where to add it :-(
Double left click or right click-open link in new tab on your profile name in the top bar, should show your personal info. with a space for the zone.
 
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@KDubU, thanks for the info! This was one of the first plants that I ever bought so I'd hate to damage it and lose it, maybe I'll leave it alone. Because of the size and poor leaf growth I was originally thinking that it was getting too much shade and that I would have to move it anyway, but now I'm just not sure.

I have a waterfall Japanese maple in a pot, too:


It would be easier to transplant, but I was really hoping for the color of the Tam. This one actually almost died on me several years back (the drain in the pot got clogged and I didn't notice, so it literally sat in a pot of water for a looooong time), but new limbs grew back and it looks OK now. It's not that lush either, though, and it doesn't quite have the waterfall shape that it used to have, but it's small and pretty.
 
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I have one at the top of my waterfall - but it's only been there a couple of years. I'm enjoying how it looks, though!
 
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I'll have to take some pics tomorrow to show you, but my poor Tam looks pitiful! The leaves are still green and they're pretty sparse, so something's definitely wrong with it. Other plants in the same area are OK, but they're mostly bulb flowers and other shallow plants... so there could be something in the deeper soil that wouldn't be affecting them.

Or not enough sun.

I've done some research, and another possibility is salt buildup on the roots. I've never "flushed" the roots (I assume this means to just let the water hose run on it for a long time?), and it's halfway between the house and a cement walkway so there's a possibility of lime leeching out of the concrete (although the house was built in '93, and the walkway is at least 15 years old).

I use Miracle Gro packets on all of my ornamental flowers, but I don't know mixture:


I'm thinking, maybe I should flush the roots tomorrow for an hour, then let it sit for an hour or two, then give it a gallon of water with one of these packets?

Or should I stick with something designed for Japanese maples, like this?

 

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