Crimson Maple Leaves are Green

Discussion in 'Maples' started by BrowningFicus, Jul 11, 2022.

  1. BrowningFicus

    BrowningFicus New Member

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    Spring 2021 I planted a crimson maple. It had rich, red leaves. But it's July 2022 now and the leaves are all green with faint red tips, if any red at all. Is something wrong with it?

    - PNW
    - Full sun all day long on East, South, and West sides
    - Deep watering at least once or twice a week depending on heat
    - Leaves are kind of curled up or cupped

    Anything I should be doing?

    Thanks
     

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  2. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Really hard for me to see the leaves well, but I guess this is A. platanoides 'Crimson Sentry'?

    It doesn't look like it's suffering too much, the cupped leaves aren't that abnormal, just a sign of stress. Since this is the second season, it may need less water than you're providing. The petioles (leaf stalks) look stiff and upright, so that's a good sign.

    I'm really not sure why it's this green. They do green out a little sometimes, but more typically in shade than in full sun. I wouldn't think it's anything to worry about.

    I think you should reduce the water regime to once every 2-3 weeks, unless there is extraordinarily hot temperatures. Let it dry out completely between waterings.

    It might be useful if you show us a picture of the base of the trunk where it enters the ground, and the area around the tree base. Was it a containerized tree? Did you loosen the roots, when planting? Did you use any compost besides your native earth when planting? How about fertilizers? Too much fertilizer could make it go green, conceivably.

    -E
     
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  3. BrowningFicus

    BrowningFicus New Member

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    Thanks. I'll try watering it less.

    Here's some details on planting
    • It was originally in a pot when it bought it, and about 7ft tall.
    • I loosened up the roots after taking it out the pot
    • I dug a hole about 2.5ft deep with a good foot of space around the root ball
    • I used a mix of native soil and compost, ground up and mixed well
    • I used one of those fertilizer stakes for trees last year but haven't put one in this year
    Details on soil and planting area
    • Native soil is a dense clay loam, but plants grow wonderfully in it if I till it up first
    • Tree is in the middle of a grass yard. I planted the grass from seed in tilled clay loam
    • Grass roots reach as deep as 2ft into the earth, as observed when digging for the tree
    • The yard has a slope and surface watering does not soak in well on the hard earth
    • I have a narrow hole dug down into the root area where I irrigate the tree
    Details on growing season
    • New growth appeared early this year with dark red, leathery leaves. Very nice.
    • We had abnormally heavy and continuous rains in Q1 and Q2
    • Over the last few months, the leaves have turned greener and greener
    • Last summer, record heat and constant winds scorched the windward side (NNW)
    • This summer, the windward side is showing scorch marks again
    • New leaf growth is still visible all around the tree
    Additional photos attached

    IMG_20220711_154141.jpeg IMG_20220711_153857.jpeg IMG_20220711_153901.jpeg IMG_20220711_154004.jpeg IMG_20220711_154050.jpeg IMG_20220711_154127.jpeg
     
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  4. BrowningFicus

    BrowningFicus New Member

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    I looked back on some older photos and saw that the trunk began splitting at the end of Winter 2022.
    It looks much more severe now.

    April 2022
    IMG_20220404_125706.jpeg

    July 2022
    IMG_20220711_154141.jpeg
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Purple coloring of 'Crimson Sentry' fades during hot conditions. It is also susceptible to conspicuous mildew infestations - so maybe be glad you don't have it doing that also! Otherwise the trunk damage is probably frost cracking, which Norway maples planted where the sun hits the south side of the trunk are prone to.

    Problems with Planting Trees – The Garden Professors™
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2022
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  6. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks, the additional pictures are edifying. The second 2 leaf pics show signs of over-watering. Given that you have dug a hole in clay and filled it with a less dense substrate, to some extent when you water the deep roots are staying wet because the moisture has nowhere to go. During your heavy rain, and after watering, the roots have probably been staying wet, which they don't like. That may be the main source of stress.

    Ron made some good points. The vertical crack could also be the result of sudden increase in water, from having been very dry. Regardless, don't worry. The tree is showing good compartmentalization -- you can see the new "lip" wood, which will eventually close the crack -- and vertical damage is seldom critical.

    At this point, I'd do nothing more than increase the diameter of the cleared area by about 2x, get some mulch down (wood chips, bark, hemp, whatever) and stop watering so much. Next year, don't water at all. By year 4 it will have it's feet well under it, the crack will heal, and the tree will be happily established.
     
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  7. BrowningFicus

    BrowningFicus New Member

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    Thank you, both. I'll follow your advice.
     

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