Did I get it right transplanting my Japanese Maple?


Keep weeds from competing with your maple. Remove all grass and weeds under the tree canopy. Mulch can help. A 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch spread over the tree's root system helps conserve moisture, moderate soil temperature and prevent weeds. Keep mulch about 6 inches away from the tree trunk.

Most publications will recommend not to fertilize the new transplant for several years and to not mix fertilizer with the soil used because this practice can lead to root damage. However, adding a low amount of a low nitrogen fertilizer and root stimulator during planting will help nourish the tree and aid in survival.

Other recommendations include watering the tree thoroughly after planting. Drip water slowly into the basin, refilling as it seeps through until water is left standing on the surface. Repeat twice in the first week. From that time on, water when the soil is dry 3 to 4 inches below the surface. Absent significant rainfall, deep-water the soil around the maple's roots around twice a month.

Also, for a tree as old as the one you transplanted, it is often a good practice to orient the tree as it was growing in the previous location. Fill the hole with the extracted soil to the same level on the trunk of the maple as in its prior location.

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