Why isn't my sango kaku growing? :/

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Squeezied, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Squeezied

    Squeezied Active Member

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    So I planted my sango kaku 1 year ago in May 2011. There were new shoots at that time. Fast forward to spring and summer 2012 and, not only has it not grown new shoots, it has shrunk (ie. in the form of diebacks, though thankfully not a lot). Though I'll admit there were a few (very minimal) new shoots scattered around the base of the crown. The top of the crown had the most of the diebacks and no new growth.

    Why is this? Is it because I didn't add fertilizer this year whereas when I bought it there was fertilizer already added? Is it because it takes a while for the roots to establish before new growth can occur? Or is it because there's too much nutrient competition from the companion plants around the base of the tree (mind you, our soil is pretty high in organics and is consistently moist)?

    Another thing, the leaves at the ends/tips of the tree are pretty burnt and crispy-ish whereas the leaves inside are fine. Is it because water and nutrients aren't able to reach to the ends of the branches or is it because the sun is damaging to the leaves on the outside while the leaves in the inside are sheltered?
     

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  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    The maple is most likely working to establish a decent root system. There does not seem to be anything competing with it for access to light, therefore the 'Sango kaku' has no urgent need to expand the top growth and is putting its energy to better use developing the roots. It might just seem to sit for a year or two, not growing much, and then one spring it will surprise you by extending multiple shoots 18 inches or more.

    Personally I don't have a problem with companion planting but it might mean it takes longer for the tree to establish. I know some others prefer to nuke a wide circle around their maples, but I don't like to pamper mine too much and feel a little healthy root competition helps to toughen the tree up.

    Minor leaf burn and small amounts of dieback are normal in the first year or so after planting, as long as these problems do not get worse I would not worry about them.
     
  3. Squeezied

    Squeezied Active Member

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    Thanks for the response! So in theory if my tree was under shade, it would have expanded the top growth to search for light?
     

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