Japanese maple

dragonfly_field(8)June 22, 2014

I have a Sango kaku coral bark that is probably around six feet tall. I am renting so I need to put it in a container for about a year or two. (Hopefully after that I can put it in the ground when we have our own home.) I have read and read and can not figure out what size pot would be right to put it in. I know Japanese maples have shallow root systems and I hear that you shouldn't start with too big a pot because it can cause it to have wet feet. Any suggestions on size would be good for the next year or two?

This post was edited by dragonfly_field on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 14:12

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dragonfly_field(8)

I'm very sorry about the sideways picture.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 2:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Put it in a 10-gallon container in a mix of pine/fir bark, perlite, and quality potting mix.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 2:19PM
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dragonfly_field(8)

Thanks so much!!! Sorry to have to ask, but roughly how many inches would a ten gallon pot be?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 2:01AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Depends on the shape of the pot.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 11:18AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

The maximum size of the pot would depend on your ability to move it. Using the proper mix will eliminate any concern about over potting. Your tree looks very good and with lots of foliage, it will transpire away plenty of water. In such a case you do not need a mix that will retain more water, as much as you you need to water more often, a mix that is fast draining. I hope you find your house before your tree outgrows your ability to move it! Al

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 9:19AM
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dragonfly_field(8)

Haha thanks, me too! I figure my husband has a few friends who can always come move it together for me if it gets to that point, but I'm hoping it won't have to.thanks for all the info guys! This is my first Japanese maple and injustice love these things! I hope to have a few more one day.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 2:13PM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

Beautiful looking maple!

I think it will be fine if you follow the advice above from Josh and Al. Both of them have lots of experience with this kind of thing.

I grow trees in containers and so far have had very good luck with these bark-based mixes. Your tree will grow very strong, healthy roots in such a mix. A large container is much better than a smaller one.

TYG

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 2:37PM
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dragonfly_field(8)

Thanks TYG! I just fell in love with the coral bark as soon as I saw it. My husband surprised me with it after i talked myself out of getting crazy and buying an Emperor One that was on sale at a local nursery. Although I still think about going back and getting one every once in a while. :) is there a time of year that is best to pot my tree? Would Autumn be better than summer?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:28PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I would have to say that this type of tree in one of the easiest to over winter too..

I have 4 in smaller pots to keep the small and they never fail to come back every spring..It's a beautiful tree...I too love them..Good luck with your move some day..

How do you over winter yours is what I would like to ask?

Mike

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:09PM
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gardengal48

Repotting Japanese maples should be done when they are dormant (winter) or just entering dormancy in late fall.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 6:41PM
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dragonfly_field(8)

Thanks gardengal! I will wait til then for sure!

Mike, thank you, I'm glad to know they over winter well! Honestly at the moment I have no idea how I will over winter it except I thought I would give it a good layer of mulch and maybe wrap the pot with burlap or bubble wrap. I have moved it closer to the house recently because the leaves were getting burned and I will probably keep it close to the house for winter as well. Unless of course anyone here has any advice! This is my baby, I've only had it for about three months.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 12:58AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

In zone 8 you shouldn't have to take any Winter precautions. But be aware that twig die-back is very common with this variety - don't be alarmed when you see the small dead stuff, just trim it off.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 2:28AM
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spaceman13(6b)

Dragonfly wrote: "you shouldn't start with too big a pot because it can cause it to have wet feet."

How could too big a pot cause wet feet?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:21PM
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gardengal48

Depending on the size of the pot you move it up to, winter protection maybe advised. Containerized plants are more vulnerable to cold weather as they lack the insulating capacity of that big soil mass. JM roots can be damaged at temps around 25F or less, which is not difficult to hit here at all! My larger containered JM's (like a 5G size or larger), I seldom protect but smaller ones I do and especially any 1G starters I may be trying.

A too large pot for the plant - or really its root ball - can create problems with the excessive amount of soil retaining an excessive amount of moisture. Not much of a worry if one is very careful with watering or if using something very barky and textural like the gritty mix.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 3:58PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I've never had a problem with maples in 1-gallon containers, seedlings, yearlings, or otherwise.

I thought for sure that the original poster mentioned bumping this maple up to a 10-gallon pot - and in that volume, no Winter protection should be needed.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:42PM
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dragonfly_field(8)

I was sorta thinking I would be a little over protective of it in winter because our weather is so random. We had a mild winter last year except for two crazy snow and ice storms. One night it got to -10 and lots of plants in our area didn't make it. Though I suppose I could just go out and give it extra protection if the weather warns for another nutty freeze. I would be heart broken if my tree didn't make the winter though if it's in a big enough pot I guess it wouldn't be a worry.

Spaceman, i just have read over snd over not to put Japanese maples in pots that are too big because the roots don't reach far enough out to drink up the water and can cause the soil to stay too wet. I wasn't sure so that's why I was asking. :)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 2:07AM
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spaceman13(6b)

I see Dragon, I use Al's "gritty mix" for all my potted JMs, which probably doesn't hold enough perched water for that to be a problem, but I don't know that for sure.

If you get any more JMs to grow in pots in the future, I would strongly recomend "Gritty Mix"!
Mine have been in the gritty mix for 3 years now and are strong and healthy and look absolutely gorgeous!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:28PM
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Allen456(8)

I have a Sango Kaku that's about 15' now. Full sun. Would probably look a little better if it had some afternoon shade.

The coral bark is truly impressive. Late winter / early spring before it leafs out is one of my favorite times to look at this tree.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:33PM
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dragonfly_field(8)

That's awesome! Where can I find gritty mix? Would a local nursery have it?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 3:32AM
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dragonfly_field(8)

Allen, wow 15'!! I would love to see a coral bark that big! It must be absolutely stunning in cool weather! I am looking forward to see mine haha his winter. I got to see them at the nursery just as their leaves were coming out and they were beautiful, but I'm excited to see it just before then.

I had to move mine into mostly shade because the leaves burned so badly in th sun. Will it be able to handle more sun as it gets older? I had read that this type handled sun better than other JM's but mine didn't have much tolerance. I noticed it was in full shade at the nursery.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 3:43AM
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