Bloodgood Japanese maples field grown

These maples in my garden have been growing for around 20 years as shrubs. I trunk chopped them and hope that they’ll back bud - which they should. Here’s my question: When should I remove them from the ground? Would prior to bud opening be ok? I have no idea of the state/depth/distance from trunk of the roots.

There are seven of them…

but one is particularly stunning.


They are great Rafi. Time to plant some trees! haha
Did these start as cuttings or seedling or nursery material?

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First off, did you trunk chop them this past fall or in the spring? Big cuts on Japanese maple in the spring will make them bleed a lot. Either way I would suggest you seal all those cuts if you haven’t. Dig them once you see buds starting to appear and swell on the trunks but before the buds open.

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nursery material planted by the at least around 1984 or before by the previous to last owner of my house.

Last fall Mike. That was my plan - and yeah, I will seal them with vaseline but it is still unclear if sealing wounds does not do more to our souls than to the wounds…


Sorry for sabotaging the discussion. Feel free to ask me to delete it :slight_smile:

sealing wounds…i have the same thoughts but i still do it just in case it really offers something - even at a micro - level.
At the end of the day, we spend so much time and effort to try and apply the right techniques - it does not hurt to do it, even if the gains are not much (or any). My 2 cents…

@rafi Nice, since you pruned in fall, i"m not sure if sealing will be necessary, hopefully they have already started to compartmentalize the wounds by now.

@Stavros My two cents is that healing wounds is absolutely necessary especially when making larger cuts to prevent dieback or when you want to heal a wound and not have a big ugly deadspot. Think of it like a plumbing system of sorts. when you make a trunk chop, all that heartwood and xylem that is exposed is the mechanism by which water is transported from the roots to the foliage. It’s like breaking a pipe wide open and expecting your plumbing system not to lose pressure.

Hey Rafi! If those were my trees, I’d collect them when the buds have started swelling. You can be rather severe on root pruning of maples in general, maples will always recover nicely. I’ve gone very far in terms of root pruning on nursery grown maples and never lost one.


Thanks Chris! I hope I can visit your garden someday!

Quick update: After collecting all trees around three weeks ago (first week of May). There were buds swallowing and there a few tiny leafs on some. There were little roots left on collection, the soil was extremely heavy clay with long thick (3") roots going away. It took me some 1.5h to 2h to collect each tree. I am happy to say now that all seven trees survived, included the one below on the foreground. (@CaptainChris, all the leafs and buds that were there died after collection and after a few days new growth emerged). There are buds or leaves everywhere, very little dieback on the big trunk chops (maybe less than 0.5" from the cut to where new buds/leaves appeared). Some of the trees even survived a squirrel attack. These trees are around 35 years old (planted probably around 1984) and were kept as bushed for the whole period. They were now elevated (metaphorically and literally) to become bonsai. For those curious, they are planted in pure DE (Qualisorb) with some 10% coconut bark added. The one tree in the foreground has called itself ‘the president’.


Nicely done! If you’re ever considering selling one or two of them, I’m always in the market…hah!

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Nice one @rafi :+1:t4: and 100% success so far - salute!

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I love them! great job on collecting them. I can’t wait to see how they turn out. I wonder if these species will grow in Northern AB.

@Seumas, Acer palamatum are zone 5 and the bloodgood variety are said to be a little hardier than others. They survive planted on the ground here in Montreal (zone 6a nowadays) but whereas it does survive in pots in the ground, I don’t know how much dieback this produces and most people here keep them in coldframes/winter greenhouses to not loose fine branching. You’d be able to do the same in northern AB but not sure if I’d leave them out buried in the snow. What’s your experience with maples in northern AB?

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there are a few maples that I have seen around town, manatoba make begin the most common but there are a few others. We are in zone 3a so zone 5 might be pushing it. I have been trying to figure out how to winter the less hardy tree species as I have planted a bunch of seedlings of giant sequoia and coastal redwood. perhaps heatng pads with a thermostat and some hoarding like you mentioned? its cold in the basement so that is another option.

You’d need around 12000 hours between 1C and 7C to satisfy the dormancy requirements of a temperate tree during winter. This give about 1.5 month but clearly our winters (and yours in particular) are much longer this 1.5 month are satisfied with the days in late fall and early spring. The middle block when temperature is below 0C does not count for dormancy. If you keep them in a greenhouse, after the requirements are met and temperature and daylight start to increase they’ll bud and you may have have long internodes and big leaves depending on the amount of luminosity. There’s a chance that you’ll have to defoliate to start rebuilding fine ramification for the short growing period you’ll subsequently have. On the other hand, if you have a cold dark garage I don’t quite know how the lack of luminosity will affect leafing as I think it is triggered by both temperature and hours of daylight. I think none of this is as ideal as having a bright greenhouse or living in at least 2 zones up from the one assigned to the plant because the roots are not underground but in a pot *even if that is placed in the ground and protected with mulch over winter).

Nice work rafi,
Now you have to be carefully not manipulate too much before the established itself again. I lost several Acers because I started to pinch the extensive long internodes too early. Forget all grow from at least the first year, fertilize well and take care of propper watering.
Best Balatus

Thanks for the info! it’s defiantly a bit of a problem, but knowing about the dormancy period helps a bunch.

I plan to start fertilizing shortly and I don’t plant to cut a single leaf for at least a year…