Japanese Maple died this Spring!

holly210April 18, 2014

The tree looked like it was on its way out last year according to an arborist. I need to remove it and do something different on this side of my yard. On the other side is a River Birch located close to the street. I would like to put another tree on the other side of the yard but not sure what kind and what location. Do I buy two trees? Thanks.

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Here is another picture that might be helpful.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:51PM
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Why not replace the JM with one of the saucer Magnolias ?

The link is to one Magnolia source. You would likely get a nice specimen at your local hardware big-box store.

Here is a link that might be useful: Magnolia source ...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 8:46AM
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This was one of my thoughts--a magnolia. They do very well in the DC area. If the JM died due to a virus they get, I shouldn't plant it in the same spot, right? I suppose I will have to close up that garden where I had the JM and make it grass again. I think it may look weird to have a garden in the middle of my lawn. Also, do you think I should put in another tree closer to the street?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 9:49AM
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Why do you think it looks weird to have a "garden" (I assume you mean a planting bed) in the middle of the lawn? Why is that any weirder than having a tree spring up in the middle of the lawn? At least a planting bed with other plants included gives a tree some context and grounds it to the landscape. And is how trees grow naturally, in a mixed plant environment.

The magnolia is a perfectly reasonable choice but is prone to the same soil pathogen the Japanese maple is. I see no reason to move a new tree selection - the bed is well placed and already prepared. Just pick a resistant tree. How about a dogwood? These are resistant to the disease and also do well in the at area. Be sure to select one that is anthracnose resistant, however, like a Korean dogwood or one of the hybrids..

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Is it okay to plant a tree in the exact same place as the one I took out? The reason I put in the garden was to ground the tree to the landscape so I'll keep it. I drove around our neighborhood tonight and there are so many Japanese Maples. I wonder why ours died... My neighbor told me hers died too although it was not nearly as old as mine. I love dogwoods and they do very well here. I was also thinking of a weeping cherry tree. I wonder if that would be a safe tree re soil pathogens.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 8:54PM
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Hi, I'm in the DC metro area too. And, yes, the magnolias do well here. But they can get very large, and eventually might overwhelm your house. And weeping cherries can get gigantic. I think the suggestion of a dogwood, which would be in scale with your house, is a better choice.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:15PM
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Since the birch has a triple trunk, maybe a tree that is more vertical like a spire; quaking aspen perhaps? They are mesmerizing in a breeze and gorgeous in the fall. You house is really cute. I'm not sure if a purple hop seed is Indiana compatible (zone 8 to 11 I think), but the foliage would be a nice accent with your brick. Or another darker foliage small tree. I also love that little garden plot in the middle of the yard. I'd make it a little larger and more kidney shaped myself. Nice touch.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 4:17AM
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If a tree dies it's not the same as if your house burned down or your child got killed in a car crash. Accept that you will probably never know why it died. The cause of most of the chronic ailments that affect people are still unknown. The doctors say, "We don't know what causes it; we just treat the symptoms." Plants usually have no opportunity for consultation with any high priced "doctor." With them -- except for the common diseases -- it usually boils down to paying your money and taking your chances. If you like the Jap Maple, try again and don't look back.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:39AM
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Well, I just had the tree chopped down and when I saw the roots, I knew (I think) why it died. It choked itself. The roots were really tight. I guess this is called girdling. Anyway, I bought a pink dogwood which do really well in this area. I think I am over Japanese maples. I can look at them in my neighbors' yards

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Do you all think I should put two trees on the left side of my yard? Maybe a street and the dogwood? Where should I place my dogwood. It's not the biggest yard, but I think I could actually put another tree, along with the dogwood.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:20PM
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Pedro_5805(Zone 9)

Hello, I just wanted to share some facts with everyone : )
1. River Birch Trees usually like to grow near water. Thats why it likes to growing in your the lawn.
2. The larger Japanese maples grow they will have extensive fibrous root systems that take water and nutrients from the topsoil. The great canopy of leaves calls for a steady, constant supply of water, "not necessarily frequent watering", but constantly available water throughout the root zone. And, with a lawn, most people water to many days in a single week. I would almost bet it died from over watering.
3. FACT: 90% of problems in the garden are caused from over watering. Also, 90% of plants usually die from "over watering". This tree was on its way out for a while now, and now was just its time. Imagine yourself constantly being under water, it drown my friend.
2. Dogwoods do not like direct sunlight. Thats why they usually grow well underneath, or on the side of large trees. Not to late to relocate, do not waste time...
3. Best advise I could give you is, talk to your local nurseryman and provide all the info. they need to help you make the best decision on picking the right plants/Trees for your Zone Climate, which side of house E, W, N, S. ,
Lastly - Strongly recommend you purchase soil probe or soil moisture meter, nobody can say how much water a plant or tree currently has by just looking or especially poking their finger or hand pruners in the ground ; ) Trust me, you'll soon look like a pro!
Hope this helps, and good luck : )

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 8:17AM
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Thanks for the info, Pedro. I watered the tree while young but didn't do it at all on a consistent basis as it aged. The tree was about 15 years old. The front of my house used to have two dogwoods and that were huge so, I assume this one will do well in this space. My neighbor has a white one doing really well next door. I think this will be okay. I think I am going to plant it closer to the street.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:42AM
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I looked around my neighborhood this weekend and now am wondering if I should put in a street tree AND a dogwood. Would this be too much in this space? Also, I moved several plants from the tree island into my foundation. It looks a lot better. I am still not sure what to do with this dirt island. I think I just need tree circles.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Should I plant two trees? Also, what should I do with the pre carved garden area? Any advice out there?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 3:58PM
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