I recently acquired a trident maple. This past Sunday I performed a cut on the tree (acer buergerianum) to reduce the height and create some taper. I had done some research and found that summer dormancy was a good time to perform this so as to create some callous before winter dormancy. I realize now that I probably should have waited until after leaf drop because after doing so the foliage on the tree has begun to turn red similar to fall colors. Why would the tree have reacted this way verses the leaves just going dry and what can I do now to help it in recovery? Thank you!
I would maintain a good water/oxygen balance and keep it out of direct sun to aid recovery. My guess is that that with the dramatic reduction of leaf mass that the roots are wet. But that is only a guess. My previous trunk chops and carvings normally respond with lots of growth.
Thank you @MartyWeiser. When do you think I can expect to see new growth? I’m in Maryland.
I would expect within 2 weeks. However, if your maples have gone into a deep summer dormancy it may be longer. My tridents are still growing and we have only had a few days below 90F (32C) in the past 2 months and several days over 100F (38C). However, if it takes even longer I would not give up hope.
I have a scots pine (P. sylvestris) that looked dead for several months before putting out a few very weak buds last year. This year it has nice shoots. I call it this Jimmy V pine. I also have some bare root sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) seedlings that I got this spring that looked dead for nearly 2 months until one budded out. One or two are budding out every week. I was all set to toss them, but may get 20 or so of the 50 to grow.
@MartyWeiser Ok sounds good. I know that tridents are resilient so I’m thinking it will be ok. The tree looked really healthy when I got it. I know where going through summer dormancy right now but when would you suggest to continue feeding the tree? I don’t want to shock it even further of course.
I would suggest waiting until the new shoots show a couple of leaf pairs before fertilizing. If still hot, use a mild organic liquid. If starting to cool off then I would go with solid organic. I would also let the shoots run this year. You can wire the bases of the ones you want to keep after the base starts to firm up, but the tree will appreciate the strength gain and you will be cutting back and regrowing to develop structure.