October Glory maple

jennimattJuly 31, 2014

Approximately 10 days ago we purchased and planted October Glory maples. We've been watering regularly using gator bag irrigation. As of now one of the trees appears to have a large section of its leaves changing colors prematurely. In other words, it looks like, to me, the tree is struggling or dying. Does this sound like an accurate assessment? And/or how can we help the tree thrive?

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Distal perspective.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:29PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

jennimatt, you are probably on it in your assessment. Transplant has stressed out the tree. Mid-summer is rough on them and large transplants are difficult to handle and require more water.

It is your job to stick your finger a few inches into the rootball and make sure the watering is getting it moist. Lets see....acer rubrum cultivar so it should be difficult to drown and it is big and is hot in the summer.... I say when the rootball feels almost dry water again. Check and do this regardless of if it has rained a little.

Trick is deciding how much water....during the drought two years ago I discovered trees my height or smaller could be kept happy with a sprinkler for an hour every three days. Smaller trees a gallon of water more or less every three days. Bigger than me and oh boy. Just turn on the sprinkler when you get home from work and turn it off at 0100 when you go to bed. With big transplants I assume the roots were tortured so they need help.

While we're at it, the guys on here will want to see a picture of the trunk where it meets the ground to check if you planted the tree at the right height. Heck, describe your planting procedure you may as well.

FWIW I bet with proper mulch and watering your maple pulls through even if it looks worse in the short term.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:30AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

there are very specific.. favored planting times .. basically spring while leafless.. or fall.. when leafless ... and being leafless.. you dont end up with.. wait for it.. leaf damage ...

and that is the biggest reason for timing ..... is to avoid this..

100% transplant shock ...

i have done it at unfavorable times.. and the tree lost every leaf on the plant ...

and if properly watered ... they will bounce back ...

besides.. its a maple.. not the fooest of the foo .. lol ..

since i see a lot of grass in the pic ... i am thinking you might be doing some more planting ..... so ... see link on planting.. timing.. mulching.. watering ...

and do keep in mind ... just because you buy it... doenst mean its time to plant it ... and if a ball and burlap.. you can tag it at the nursery.. for fall pickup ...

if this was done professionally.. talk with your contractor ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:10AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Maples are weeds; it's pretty hard to kill them. October Glory's like their feet wet so do make sure they're getting enough water. I had 2 of them years ago and they took off like rockets. I loved those trees. I watered the absolute hell out of them, lol, and they grew up to 3 feet in a year, but sadly they were ripped up all over from frost crack. We had to remove them. I can't have soft -wooded trees in my yard due to my location and winter conditions...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:00AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Not unusual for summer planting.

I've seen many newly planted maples do this, but it's not as if they lose their leaves 2 weeks later. They'll show some color...but still hold leaves until at least early fall, then defoliate.

Keep them moist, and they should be fine long-term.

There are a few Acer rubrums that are more mature doing this around me, but mostly trees near areas of compaction, near streets, other stressed situation. For those trees, which are long established, I'd say their days are numbered (but they may still hang on a decade or so), but for a new tree, just keep it watered, and, since Maples are hard to kill and relatively tolerant of transplanting, I think they will be fine.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:12AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

BTW the relatively sparse canopy suggests this was a tree dug and balled/burlapped this past spring.

Which, as long as they were handled properly at the nursery you bought them from, may be a GOOD thing, in that new roots have already begun to regenerate and should more easily grow into your native soil.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:13AM
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Thank you all so much for the comments. Very helpful! I'm going out to soak the roots now.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:12PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I was going to say along the lines of HM comment if it was b&b the fact you planted if now likely has no impact on what its doing now unless it put out roots and they cut them off or broke the root ball, etc.

How you got a steal on this plant.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:00PM
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