It is not necessary to cover the top, unless the tree is fairly tall and is above the width of the material; the burlap can be kept open. If your tree isn't overwhelmingly large, wrapping it with burlap is a way to protect it from frost, ice, and snow. Alternatively, slip a burlap sack over the roped crown. ... Should I cover the area with some sort of tar product, or just let it alone? There is also some training involved to make sure they develop into the most beautiful specimens imaginable. Cover the Japanese maple with a sheet of burlap from the top down. Mulch insulates the root zone and helps retain moisture. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. It’s a tree that loses its leaves in the fall and has thin bark, so the best way to protect it is by wrapping the trunk in a plastic tree guard. Single stake method: For smaller trees, use one long stake driven firmly into the ground so that it crosses the trunk of the tree at an angle a foot or two above the ground (depending on height of tree). I use to have a nice japanese maple tree, in front of the house but this year my tree only 25 percent of it has leaves, more like one branch, and the rest of the tree hasn't shown buds or leaves. Protecting a Japanese maple from winter damage begins before you even purchase the tree. Keep the mulch a few inches deep over the root zon… Since they naturally grow under taller trees, filtered sunlight is best. I accidentally killed the original Japanese maple that was in this spot – smothered the roots – then failed to keep the subsequent lacy leaf one sufficiently watered. Protect the tree from excess moisture and bugs until the tree has time to heal. Make sure the mulch isnt piled up around the trunk where it would keep the bark too moist and encourage disease and insect problems. It's a fungus that kills Japanese Maples. There are few cases where Japanese maples benefit from covering. Quote. When Should I prune my Japanese maple? The maples need a leafless dormancy each winter to survive and grow well. All of my Japanese maples get pruned and trained at least twice a year. I just bought a Crimson Queen Japanese Maple in a 3 gallon container. I am not sure what to do or why this is happening. How to Care for a Inaba-Shidare Japanese Maple Tree. Secure the burlap to the stakes with staples. Strong wind, particularly when accompanied by hot weather, may cause scorched areas to appear between leaf veins. My question for anyone is do you think I should stick with White Hydrangeas since I am keeping the body of the house green for now? Japanese maple trees, when damaged, are susceptible to mold, fungus and boring insects. I am not sure if I should plant it in the ground and risk it being attacked by deer or plant it in a larger container and leave it on my deck, which is not accessible to wildlife. However, I don't suggest actually 'wrapping' the tree. Although Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5b through 8b, they are sensitive to changes in weather conditions. I’m in 5A and my Japanese maple is in the ground in front of my dining room window. Locating the tree near your home and with southern exposure will shelter it some from harsh winter winds. Feed your Japanese maple tree once each year in the spring with a well-balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium). please advise. Such branches are more susceptible to winter damage. From now until the first frost keep the tree well watered. Most people use them as specimen trees, although they are also used in bonsai. Trees that cannot be brought inside can be covered with a tarp. The stakes should be about 1.5′ to 2′ away from the trunk. Should I Cover My 4-Foot Tall Japanese Maple if a Freeze Comes? Mulch should only be 1-2" deep around the tree and the root flare should … Kudos to my customer Kevin from Pickering for doing such a good job protecting his Waterfall Japanese Maple (pictured left)! In the spring, it didn’t leaf out. Use an airy material like straw, shredded leaves from your garden, bark, or even composted manure. If it has been growing rapidly then it would be a good idea to fertilize it gently with a commercial fertilizer at half strength, once a month, or mix some compost into its soil to give it a little boost. Keep mulch 4 to 6 inches away from the trunk of the tree. Instead, keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk. About Japanese Maple Winter Damage. This takes a bit of time, since the bark doesn't grow that quickly, but if you maintain the healing process, you should see an … When Japanese maples are small, it is absolutely essential that they be pruned for shape and character. We kept the Japanese maple by the front window, and also the pink azalea bush by our mailbox. Staking for the Japanese maple trees Japanese maple tree can be planted similar to any other plant, which involves digging up a hole in the ground if a site is chosen in the garden. We still want the tree to get the snow cover but want to protect the tree from the winter wind until it is established. This will aid in reducing soil moisture loss due to evaporation. The roots of Japanese maple trees are shallow and benefit from a cover of mulch, such as well-composted humus or compost. A. Ditto … When I broke a branch on the side that doesn't have leaves, it looks like it's still alive. Next, apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch around your Japanese maple tree, but not right up against the trunk—that invites pests such as voles to gnaw at it. Why Do I Have Brown Leaves on My Japanese Maple Trees? Potential it has left an ugly scar where the branch was ripped out of the trunk. Since your trees are small, it would be best to use a stake to help support the burlap. Your tree will not re-sprout. But now I suspect that over-watering was the problem. Bookmark. Young trees are especially susceptible, but trees of any age can profit from a proper fall watering regimen. Often, when the sun is warm in winter, cells in the maple tree thaw during the day, only to refreeze again at night. Japanese maples are a beautiful tree that are cold hardy down to zone 5b if grown in the ground. She is a Master gardener and has left me with a beautiful perennial garden, however, in my opinion, she has let the foliage of the Japanese maple get too thick. Japanese Maple is a hardy plant that needs little extra attention. Providing them with adequate water at the correct time in autumn will go a long way toward helping them get through winter in good shape. By contrast, if you fertilize in late summer or fall, the resulting new growth does not have enough time to harden off. We also have a pink crepe myrtle to the left that you can not see. I really like some of the blue varieties. By using The Spruce, you accept our, How to Grow and Care for Snow Banana Trees, How to Straighten and Stake a Leaning Tree, Protecting Plants From Wind Damage in Winter, Tips on Pruning Arborvitae After Snow Damage. A Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is one of the statelier plants that can be used in the garden.There is incredible variation between cultivated varieties, making it difficult to describe a typical Japanese maple. Two years ago , my Lacey 25-year-old Japanese maple (growing in a box on my sunny terrace) became very sick. They should not be planted on the west side of a house unless there is a fence or larger trees to protect them from sweeping wind. Japanese maples are particularly susceptible to strong, drying winds. How to grow Japanese maples. I will make this straight-forward statement here, that you will also see on many Japanese maple related sites. Protecting a Japanese maple from winter damage begins before you even purchase the tree. This will protect roots from frost damage and excessive heat and help keep roots moist in the well-drained soil preferred by Japanese maples, advises the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Begin mulching immediately after planting a new tree, and continue to add mulch every one or two years to maintain a mulch bed that is 3 to 6 inches deep. Post #9733776. Snow cover is especially helpful in preventing the rootball from becoming too cold. Heavy snow is often the culprit when your slender maple tree suffers broken branches, but winter damage of Japanese maple can be caused by various aspects of the cold season. Thanks for the helpful replies. If your Japanese maple still small, you can build a shelter with other landscaping elements, such as other trees or large bushes, to protect it from gusty winds, snow, and ice. Cut Intertwining Branches. Do Perennials Need to Be Protected From Frost? Use a piece of cloth, panty hose or a section of rubber water hose to tie trunk loosely against the stake. A Japanese maple can be grown and trained as a bonsai. Planting Japanese maples on the east side of the house will generally provide enough protection to keep the trees from damage. Small and slow growing with a graceful habit and beautiful foliage, they're the perfect choice for even the tiniest of gardens. If you do, the tree will ooze sap, which could lead to a weakened tree and potential disease. In doing plant selection research, it's critical to know what plant hardiness zone you live in and to which zones the plant that you want is best suited. My Japanese Maple of 15 year is loosing its trunk bark. After all, when you install a plant in a hardiness zone to which it is not suited, you are only asking for trouble. I have my Japanese Maple on our deck in a big ceramic pot–the pot is about 3 feet tall. Japanese maples grow best when protected from strong wind, afternoon sunlight and frost. They can be grown as single-stemmed small trees or large multi-stemmed shrubs, ranging in size from six to 25 feet tall, meaning a Japanese maple can fit into a variety of landscapes. For example, the Bloodgood Japanese maple is listed for zones 5 to 8, so any protection tips are only effective if you're growing the tree in those zones. If the tree is fall planted, water once a week when no rain or snow cover is provided. University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Florida IFAS Extension: Acer Palmatum, Japanese Maple, Davidsans Japanese Maples: Planting and Care Guide For Japanese Maples, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources: End of Summer Plant Heat Stress. If animals are a problem, the Japanese maple should be wrapped in burlap each winter to protect if from the animals. Thundercloud Plum Tree Is Going Into Shock -- What Can I Do to Help It? Verticillum Wilt can be confirmed by sending samples of your tree to the New Haven Agricultural Station. Hi Chris - Out of the 20 or so Japanese maples growing in my landscape there's a couple varieties that do what I think yours might be doing where occasionally they'll send up shoots from branches in the canopy with foliage that doesn't match the rest if the foliage. They bloom in spring, and this is when the red in their foliage is sometimes at its brightest. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. In their native habitat, Japanese maples are understory trees. Remove the burlap once the weather evens out, but leave the stakes in place for a quick fix next time the forecast looks icy. Bloodgood Japanese maple trees are ideal for smaller yards. You cannot see the trunk or the general shape of the tree at all. Fasten the burlap wrap with rope or heavy-duty duct tape. This protection can come from larger trees, a nearby structure or by setting up shade cloth to provide cover during a heat wave. Direct sunlight and wind can scorch the leaves and some cultivars are more prone to this issue. Although their leaves can become even showier in autumn than in summer, their foliage is attractive for a full three seasons of the year. South of zone 9 the summer heat is usually just too much for Japanese maples. Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated. How to Cover a Hibiscus. Since the roots are so shallow, the sun and wind can … Roots should be fully covered under the soil and the ground should be levelled according to the surroundings. Scorching can also be a result of a poor or diseased root system. If the tree sets leaves early in the spring , as the Japanese maple is prone to do, and a hard frost is expected, there is a chance all the new Japanese maple leaves could freeze and be killed. The best possible setting for any Japanese maple is: MORNING SUN AND AFTERNOON SHADE or ALL DAY LIGHTLY FILTERED SUN. When Japanese maples are dormant -- when no leaves are present -- from fall to spring, they tolerate... Spring Freezes. If your Japanese maple elm is being grown in a container, protecting it from winter damage is simple—move it into the garage or other protected area when ice or snow is in the forecast. Japanese maples can survive in full shade, but it will make red-leafed and variegated cultivars turn greener, and cultivars with yellow leaves may lose their golden color. Jacky Parker Photography / Moment / Getty Images.