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Old August 15th, 2006, 03:25 PM
scubadave scubadave is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Springville, USA
Posts: 1
Japanese maple's leaves are turning green

We just had our landscaping done, around the end of June. Our landscaper planted a beautiful japanese maple next to our garage, our house faces south. I'm not sure how old it is but it is about 3 1/2-4 ft. in height and the spread is about 5-6 ft. around. The tree probably gets most its sun during the middle of the day. We live an hour south of Salt Lake City and have had several days in the upper 90's and low 100's. The past few weeks we have noticed that the leaves are turning green, not brown, and have thinned somewhat in the 7-8 weeks that it has been planted. Is it OK? How much water should it be getting right now? Is it just going through transplant shock? The local nursery told me to put in fertilizer plugs. As you can see I am a novice at this. HELP! Please.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 01:34 AM
schusch schusch is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 190
Re: Japanese maple's leaves are turning green

It's difficult to generalize, but to give you some pointers: if you say the leaves are turning green, I assume they were red when the tree first arrived. This is normal, since most red japanese maples start out red, turn green, and end up with a different red in the fall. One of the attractions of these maples is the change of color.
It's best to put trees in the ground when the tree is dormant (fall or, possibly, early spring but soil temps play a role) but here you are. As regards moisture : keep the soil moist (cool) but not wet (for me that means every 4 or 5 days), for you possibly more often - check every day and you'll get an idea. It's good to take the time and keep monitoring. You don't want it to dry out, but you also do not want to 'drown' the tree: the adverse results are pretty similar in both cases, since roots need moisture AND air.
Mulch the tree (not sure whether you are a maples novice, or a gardening novice, so forgive me if I state the obvious).
About fertilisation: I wouldn't use any plugs. Have your soil sampled - have it analysed by a lab (I'm not sure how to go about getting this in the US, but people here on the forum, or a more ambitious gardening center, can tell you. Where I am I have the option of going through such a center or bringing it to the government lab... I remember people mentioning the 'local extension office' in the US ). Then only think about fertilising - you might not need anything much at all.
About the sun: avoid afternoon sun. If your maple gets too much sun, you might have to move it, or plant another more resilient tree in its vicinity to provide afternoon shade.

Keep the roots cool, and take the time to read through this forum: you'll find most answers to your questions.
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