Autumn Blaze Maple Not Blooming

decchallengedApril 16, 2009

We have 3 Autumn Blaze Maple trees in our backyard, planted 3 years ago. The trunks are about 4-6" in diameter. For the past 2 years, one of them doesn't bloom at all on the top half. The bottom half blooms pretty decently. I think all three of the trees suffered a little trunk damage when the deer rubbed against them the first year they were planted.

What does it mean that only half the tree is blooming? Is it dying? Should I cut off the top? Since it still blooms pretty nicely at the bottom, I hate to give up on it completely.

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esh_ga

If the top half still generates leaves then I see no reason to cut it off. Is there any light competition from nearby taller trees?

Think of all the seedlings you are NOT having to pull!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:24PM
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iforgotitsonevermind(♪☺♫)

They are hybrids and don't flower as reliably as red maples.
In fact we have about 2 dozen autumn blaze maples and I don't think they have ever flowered at all.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 11:09PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what does blooming mean.. in regard to a maple????

are you saying some part of the tree hasnt had leaves for 2 years????

it would not surprise me.. on a transplant of this size.. if it didnt take 3 to 5 years to get 'established' .. and return to proper growth ...

but dead is dead ...

minor deer damage is irrelevant ..

ken

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 8:12AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

>what does blooming mean.. in regard to a maple????

The same as for any tree, the emergence and opening of the flowers. All those red clusters that appear on red maples before the leaves emerge in the spring are flowers.

Alex

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 8:54AM
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decchallenged

By not blooming I mean that the top half of the tree does not grow any leaves at all.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:26AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well there you go ... a problem with words.. go figure on that ... i suspected as much ....

if a branch or section did not leaf out for the whole year.. that part is dead ...

it should be pruned back to live wood .... maples are VERY aggressive.. and frankly .. no matter how ugly a pruning job makes it.. it will recover.. and with a little followup pruning care over the next few years.. could be pruned into a magnificent tree .. i would not give up ... unless budget is irrelevant ...

a picture would sure help

good luck

ken

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 7:55AM
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decchallenged

Here are a few pictures of the tree. Should I cut off all the dead branches at the top and hope that they grow back with leaves?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 4:32PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

The tops of the trees are dead. Maybe they can have a decent shape after you prune out the dead wood.

Dan

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 4:59PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Yeah prune off the dead top. Mulch a large area around the tree, but don't put mulch right up to the trunk. Then as the years go by pick the best new branches and let the tallest, straightest, and most central branch grow to be your new leader. As time goes by you will be able to prune out the ones that aren't great, but you can let them grow until you know which is best. That way your tree benefits from the extra foliage. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 11:13PM
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decchallenged

Thanks for the advice! I will try it and hopefully it will work!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:36PM
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salbess

I have an identical situation--- can the dead portions of the tree be pruned off at this time of year? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 12:21AM
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Carrie B

How long has that stake been on the tree? It should be on no longer than a year after planting, then, it should be removed.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 8:32AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Where do you see a stake? I've squinted until my eyeballs are about to pop, but don't see any signs of a stake.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 9:11AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dontn see a stake

but i would not leave those black pipes on for more than 2 years ...

winter sun can cause problems ... bark scald ...

ken

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 9:20AM
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decchallenged

We cut off the top of the tree and it looks a little funny, but is already starting to grow out nicely. We also pruned some dead branches off our other 2 maples and they too are looking better. I guess we should take the black pipes off, since it has been about 2 years. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 5:27PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Ken is wrong. Not all maples are not "aggressive". General rule of thumb - american maples are aggressive. Asian maples are not. I've seen mostly asian maples in plant beds with azaleas and other shrubs. Heck I even saw sugar maple and autumn blaze growing around them. I bet Ken has never grown most of Asian maples...

Asian maples list

Japanese maple
Korean maple
Shantung maple
Many others...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:22PM
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mikeland

I have a newly planted Autumn Blaze, however it seems to have leaves that are changing color as if it were Fall. The majority of the leaves have brown tips and are dry. Is this normal for a new tree around 8 feet tall planted 3 months ago? Could it be a disease or drought? We have had a very wet summer with rain storms each week.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 9:43PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Stress.

Dan

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 9:51PM
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walter-2010

We planted a Autumn blaze maple last fall. The branches are reddish colored and look like they are alive, but it has no leaves. What time of the spring does it suppose to bloom?
Walter

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 7:46PM
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iforgotitsonevermind(♪☺♫)

walter, by bloom, if you mean flower, these trees being silver maple hyrbrids do not have conspicuous flowers. If by bloom, you mean leaf out, they leaf out in late april to may in most of the country so hang in there.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:43AM
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Carrie B

(just a note to lou_midlothian_tx - Japanese maples may not be invasive in your area, but straight species Acer palmatum certainly are in mine. Always a good idea to check for invasive plants where ever you are located)

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Maple Invasiveness

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 3:27PM
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iforgotitsonevermind(♪☺♫)

carrieb, do you have any source other than that invasive.org photo page? I'm not calling you a liar, I'm just curious to know more about it and where they have been found escaping cultivation and or doing damage. I am only aware of one isolated case in an urban park in DC.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 3:47PM
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Carrie B

iforgot - I've linked another web source, and a search for "invasive acer palmatum" turns up quite a few links that at least list potential invasiveness. The two links I've posted also list sources.

I will say that when I worked for a year at Philadelphia's Morris Arboretum, in their Urban Forestry Department, there was absolute concern at the arboretum, and there was a significant problem of Japanese maple seedlings coming up throughout the wooded "natural" areas of the arboretum and surrounding parkland.

I'm absolutely not saying that they're a problem everywhere, just that they have the potential to be a problem and were definitely a problem at the specific arboretum I worked for in a particular part of my country and state.

Here is a link that might be useful: Another source

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 3:54PM
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iforgotitsonevermind(♪☺♫)

What am I missing? With the exception of one "naturalized" status in Baton Rouge, the rest of those sources were in Australia or New Zealand.

I don't believe in waiting until something has become a problem but even for me, there has to be some bona fide demonstration of it escaping before I can spread the word about it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:05PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Wow, is this another post about JM's being invasive?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 11:34PM
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